EDEN HAZARD HAS been one of the league’s best players over the last 5 seasons,but what has changed for fans and pundits to be now ranking him alongside the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi?
Chelsea have been the surprise of the season so far under new manager Maurizzio Sarri. They have had a fantastic start to his tenure with the club after an underwhelming final season with Antonio Conte which saw the the Blues miss out on the top four. The former Napoli manager has made a huge difference to this Chelsea squad especially with Eden Hazard. Hazard came into the season full of confidence after guiding Belgium to a third place position at this Summer's World Cup, the furthest the country has ever progressed in the tournament. He has only kicked on since returning to Chelsea, with pundits and fans referring to the winger as the league's most prized asset. The 27 year old has been in sensational form under Sarri, scoring seven goals and creating four in his first twelve Premier League games. To put this in perspective, Hazard scored twelve and assisted six goals in the entirety of last season.
Eden Hazard has been in sensational form under Sarri. Credit:Sky Sports
Eden Hazard has benefitted massively from the appointment of Maurizio Sarri as Chelsea manager. Although Hazard played well last season under Conte, his style of play didn't allow Hazard to play to his full ability. The former Chelsea manager used a 3-5-2 formation playing Hazard up front as a striker or sometimes as a wingback, both are not where he is at his best. The Belgium international has returned to his favored left wing position in a 4-3-3 system under Sarri which has brought fantastic results for both Hazard and Chelsea. The previous managers style of play was built on a solid defensive foundation and a high level of pressing from the front. Sarri's playing style is more free flowing, it gives Hazard more of an opportunity to have the ball at his feet and run at defenders. In a recent interview with Sporza, Hazard revealed he is really enjoying playing under Maurizzio Sarri, "The coach has the same football philosophy as I. He always thinks about the ball. How we as players think about football, that is also his way of thinking".
The Chelsea manager has heaped praise on his star player this season and has big targets set for him this season, “Hazard can score 40 goals this season, I really think this.he is a great man”. This is not the first time a Belgium winger has benefited under the tutelage of Maurizzio Sarri. Dries Mertens scored a career best of twenty eight goals for Napoli from left wing, the same position as Hazard.
Eden Hazard has been in sensational form under Maurizzio Sarri
It is obvious that Eden Hazard is a world class talent and this season he is proving that with his consistent high level performances. The question is how long will we still see him every week in the premier league? We have seen Gareth Bale, Luis Suarez and Phillipe Coutinho move to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively in recent years after excelling in the premier league. Many were surprised that Real didn’t make a serious move for Hazard this season after the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo this Summer. There is always a glint in Hazards eye when he is questioned on the prospects of a move to the Bernabau. The 27 year old is contracted to Chelsea until 2020. He has spoken in the past about his interest in moving to Real Madrid however, he is only focused on Chelsea for the remainder of the season,"I'm only thinking about Chelsea now, the competition lasts seven or eight months,after that i'll see what happens".
The future is certainly not clear for Eden Hazard but I can definitively say the Chelsea wingers talent would be sorely missed in the Premiership.