The Lowdown: Hazard transfer speculation
Reports earlier this month suggested that Unai Emery has given the green light to a potential move and that the Villans see the 31-year-old playing a ‘leading role’ as they look to reinforce their attack.
Hailed as ‘clinical’ by his manager Carlo Ancelotti, Hazard has netted 200 goals for club and country during his career and looks set to feature at the World Cup later this month as Belgium’s captain.
The Latest: Whelan’s comments
The 47-year-old said: “When I look at what they’ve got in that attack, I’m not sure they need him. He’s not a player who would be on my radar right now.
“There are players already in the squad and the system who can play all the way across that front three – Bailey, Watkins, etc. There are so many wide players, now it’s just about finding the right system and the right set-up.
“They’ve got the perfect manager for that. If anyone can get a team working, it’s Unai Emery – that’s why he was brought in.
“For me, someone like Hazard isn’t the way forward. I think they’ve got more than enough in that area, and there’s always a possibility that Hazard can only give you 20 games a season.”
The Verdict: A risk?
Hazard is now 31 and hasn’t had the best of times in Madrid after joining them in 2019. He has suffered 16 separate injuries in Spain, so there’s no guarantee of his fitness, which could make a move by NSWE and Villa quite a gamble.
Hazard at Villa Park?
Yes, why not!
Not too bothered!
It could be one to keep an eye on, though, especially as a recent update name-checked Villa again with a loan-to-buy deal worth €20m (£17.4m) mentioned.
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