Hazard’s exit and the Blues’ transfer ban could signify dark time ahead at Stamford Bridge.
3rd in the Premier League. A Europa League final to look forward to. On the face of it Chelsea fans should be ecstatic, but most will probably be downbeat as they face the ever more likely prospect of Eden Hazard saying his Stamford Bridge goodbyes.
With just a year left on his contract, the Daily Mail now report the Belgian is likely to be sold this summer in a bid for the Blues to recoup some money for the forward, and settle their Financial Fair Play issues. In any other season, Hazard’s departure would have been a massive blow. But with the added spectre of a transfer ban, it becomes nigh on catastrophic.
The 28-year-old virtually dragged a faltering Blues side under Maurizio Sarri to third-place in the Premier League, and with it, a welcome return to the riches and rewards of the Champions League. His NBA-style ‘double-double’ of 16 goals and 15 assists is something irreplaceable. Indeed, such has been his influence on the side, that after his brace against West Ham last month, Hazard had been directly involved in 49.1% of Chelsea’s Premier League goals.
His sheer numbers alone make you shudder to think how the Blues will cope without him next season, but those figures don’t tell the full story of everything he brings both on and off the pitch. As one of the league’s best players and most feared forwards, Hazard has opposition managers and defenders alike shaking in their sleep at the prospect of devising a plan to stop him.
And despite not appearing as the most vocal of presences, the Belgian has appeared to take on a leadership role at the club, mentoring the side’s younger players like Callum Hudson-Odoi. The ex-Lille star also represents a beacon of Chelsea’s credibility – a superstar to which players around the world look to and say ‘i’d love to be teammates with him’. Losing him would take that oh-so-important bargaining chip away from the club.
With the likes of Wolves and Watford appearing to knock on the door of the ‘big six’, Sarri’s side may have to worry about even more than just securing Champions League football next season. You only have to look at Real Madrid’s demise after Cristiano Ronaldo’s exit from the Bernabeu to see just how quickly a European giant can fall off its mighty pedestal.
So if Roman Abramovich signs off on Hazard’s departure this summer, in the midst of all their managerial chaos and potential transfer ban, then his Chelsea empire may just begin to finally creak and collapse once and for all.
Blues, how would you rate your chances of keeping Hazard, if at all? Join the discussion by commenting below…
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