Whilst the vast majority of Guus Hiddink’s first team squad have certainly failed to set the Premier League alight down at Stamford Bridge this season, the 2015/16 campaign has seemingly proven a specifically frustrating affair for one high profile Blues man in particular – the previously revered and somewhat untouchable, Eden Hazard.
It seems the longer Chelsea’s Belgian play-maker fails to perform in the goal-scoring department for the Blues this term, the more uncertain speculation seems to surround his ultimate future with the current Premier League champions ahead of the new domestic season.
So, with Real Madrid reportedly keen on landing the 25-year-old attacker across the coming summer months – does Eden Hazard really belong at Stamford Bridge next season, or could the former Lille OSC man be heading for a rather abrupt exit from the Blues in the not too distant future?
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As the former fan-favourite is still yet to register a single league goal within the Premier League this term, perhaps the subsequent speculation to surround Hazard’s name in these vital stages of his career, hardly provides much of a surprise.
The once mercurial attacking-midfielder has seemingly lost his previous touch and confidence in and around opposing defensive back-lines, instead representing somewhat of a ghost out on the pitch for Chelsea throughout large portions of the current campaign. Although injuries have had a role to play in Hazard’s recent downturn in the Premier League, this is a player who has gone missing far too often at Stamford Bridge this term.
On his day the Belgian international simply provides world football with one of the best attacking talents the European game has to offer – the only problem for Eden Hazard in 2015/16 however, is that his day just doesn’t seem to come around all that often anymore, regardless of the obvious talent this man once possessed within the Premier League.
It may therefore be fair to suggest that several of those among the Stamford Bridge faithful – and the rest of the Premier League as well for that matter – simply credited Hazard with too much hype and unfounded sensation when he first made his much anticipated introduction upon English soil.
It takes a certain kind of hard-working player to maintain the highest level of performance year-in-year-out within one of Europe’s toughest and most competitive leagues after all. Seeing as Chelsea’s Belgian front-man seems to have dropped off the boil down at Stamford Bridge for quite a sustained period of time now, perhaps he just isn’t that world class talent everybody initially expected just a handful of short seasons ago.
The still relatively well coveted Belgian international would nonetheless suit playing at the Bernabeu with Real Madrid next term however, for although Hazard would certainly have to pull up his socks and begin to rediscover his very best form with his potential new employers sooner rather than later, the 25-year-old would likely start thriving once again away from the current sense of expectation clearly weighing him down at Chelsea in 2015/16.
Alongside the notoriously dangerous – yet often equally ineffective – Diego Costa at Stamford Bridge this summer, Eden Hazard’s possible departure could be seen as a necessary sacrifice with all things fairly considered. Although both players remain highly talented at the end of the day, Chelsea arguably need to rid themselves of such key underperformers in order to put this season’s nightmare well and truly behind them ahead of the new term.
So, whilst the current Blues no. 10 could admittedly rediscover his scoring boots when the 2016/17 campaign is finally upon us all, Eden Hazard has simply been far too unproductive of late to truly deserve a place among Chelsea’s first team ranks beyond the current season.