Talk of Eden Hazard’s move away from Lille in not something new; the Belgian playmaker has been on the radar of a number of top European clubs for over two years and has made no secret of his desire to test himself in another one of Europe’s top leagues. But while recent reports suggest Hazard is seeking a move to England, which of the Premier League’s top club’s would be the perfect fit for one of the world’s most coveted young stars?
Arsenal have long been in the hunt for Hazard with Arsene Wenger making contact with Lille on a number of occasions in the past to try to land the winger. At Arsenal Hazard would find himself in familiar company alongside former Lille team-mate Gervinho and international colleague Thomas Vermaelen, while at the same time working under a manager who he has enormous respect and a known desire to work with. While the Gunners are seemingly a perfect fit for Hazard there are, of course, a number of variables working against the North London club. How likely is it that Wenger will want to involve himself in a bidding war for the youngster with fees possibly rocketing well past Arsenal’s known comfort zone? Moreover, with Arsenal on the outside looking in to the top four in the Premier League, Champions League football is not guaranteed and could play a part in Hazard’s final decision.
An interesting quote from the player in the past week suggested he wanted to go to a club with “history” and that it is “no offence to Chelsea.” A smoke screen, or a genuine desire to want to play for either Arsenal, Manchester United or Liverpool? However, much of the speculation following Hazard’s comments last week are pointing towards a move to Chelsea. A young, creative player who would certainly be one of the star performers in Andre Villas-Boas’ revolution at the club. And yet there is a seed of doubt because of the arrival of Juan Mata last summer and the impending signing of Kevin De Bruyne. The London club are also admirers of Shakhtar Donetsk’s midfielder Willian, who would likely operate in the same position as Hazard. Have Chelsea subtly taken themselves out of the running for Hazard? It seems an unlikely fit—at least for the moment.
While there has been little indication of a move to Manchester United in recent times, perhaps the red half of Manchester represents the most ideal partnership for both club and player. A signal of intent towards the heavy spending Man City and a move that will more than appease fans who are growing restless at the lack of star power in the midfield. A club who are almost always certain of Champions League football, successes in the league and the world’s leading manager could be more than enough to entice Hazard to sign at Old Trafford. And yet maybe the lack of smoke to this possible outcome does suggest this is an unlikely fit.
Eden Hazard has always made it known that he wants to go a club who play good football. One of the most exciting young players in the world will only look to catapult himself into future considerations for the World Player of the Year and his carefully chosen destination will surely reflect that. The sense of admiration and the huge drawing power Arsenal have in France could mean the Gunners’ long-term target finally arrives at the Emirates. A move, which I believe, is not beyond the realms of possibility. There is considerable funds that need to be spent for a variety of reasons, and while it has been heavily down-played as simply a visit, Hazard was in attendance at during Arsenal’s home loss to Manchester United.
Perhaps it will be the guarantee of being in the starting XI each week at Arsenal—despite his ability Hazard is still not a regular for his national side—and the success Arsene Wenger has in the past of developing young talents. The money involved may point firmly to a no-go but Arsenal, above all others, seem for the moment the most perfect fit for Eden Hazard.
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