Eden Hazard: City Sky Blue, United Red or Chelsea Royal Blue?

Blake BirtContributor IIMay 23, 2012

Eden Hazard: City Sky Blue, United Red or Chelsea Royal Blue?

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    Eden Hazard faces a life-changing decision. Not many players in world football have the opportunity to take their pick out of Manchester City, Manchester United and Chelsea FC.

    The 21-year-old playmaker has been heavily courted by several clubs, although his destination for the 2012-13 season is still up in the air. Only a week ago, it seemed inevitable that Hazard would be making his way to Manchester; all that remained to be seen was what colour shirt he would be wearing.

    After Chelsea's stunning Champions League victory, however, Hazard expressed his uncertainty.

    After he signed off for Lille with a hat trick in his last game, Hazard had this to say:

    As long as I've not put pen to paper, I won't say where I'm going. Chelsea makes you hesitate. They've won the Champions League and they'll be in it next season. It is possible that Chelsea's arrival at the negotiation table will delay things, as nothing is done.

    The race for Hazard's signature is heating up; which club would best suit the Lille star?

Manchester City

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    Manager

    This season, Roberto Mancini ended City's 44-year wait for league success and he has since expressed a desire to create a dynasty at City. Although he has never won the Champions League, he is well aware that the current squad has the potential to make it in Europe.

     

    Money

    The UEFA Financial Fair Play regulations mean the days of City paying ridiculously inflated wages to entice stars are all but gone. City will also not pay over the odds for a player that has only been tested in the relatively weak Ligue 1.

     

    Potential for success

    This is where City stand out. They are the English champions, they have ambitious owners and they have the best squad in the league. The club will relentlessly pursue even more success next season, with Europe looming as the unconquered frontier.

     

    Competition for places

    Hazard will be pushed hard, as City already possess several high-quality wide players, such as James Milner, Samir Nasri and Adam Johnson. It is likely that the Belgian will get plenty of game time, though, as an attacking force of Hazard, David Silva, Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero would prove nearly unstoppable. 

Manchester United

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    Manager

    Sir Alex Ferguson has proved to be the best manager in the world at harnessing young talent and turning potential stars into world-class performers.

    He has done it before with Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Nani (to name a few), and he would prove invaluable to Hazard's growth as a player.

     

    Money

    The Glazer family has often frustrated supporters with their prudence and unwillingness to splash the cash. Traditionally, the club has refused to pay huge wages for unproven talent.

    In this case though, they may see the need to make an exception.

     

    Potential for success

    With five minutes left in this season's EPL, United looked poised for glory. That was before Edin Dzeko and Sergio Aguero broke United hearts.

    Although United's older players such as Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs are heading towards the exit door, an exciting new generation is coming through. The likes of Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Ashley Young, Nani and Danny Welbeck all give United supporters hope for the future.

     

    Competition for places

    Despite a few hiccups along the way, United's wide players have had strong seasons, as Antonio Valencia, Ashley Young and Nani all provided good service for their forwards. It is likely then that Hazard would play through the middle at Old Trafford, as Ferguson looks to inject some pace and creativity into his midfield. 

Chelsea FC

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    Manager

    Roberto Di Matteo has impressed the Stamford Bridge faithful by winning the FA Cup and the Champions League during his reign as interim manager, although Roman Abramovich will likely look to bring in a big-name manager to lead his side.

    It is possible that Hazard may wait until a new manager is announced before making his decision.

     

    Money

    Abramovich has never been one to spend prudently, and he is desperate for his club to maintain their European superiority and return to the summit of the Premier League. Out of the three owners, he is the most likely to agree to Hazard's demands and make him one of the highest-paid players at Chelsea.

     

    Potential for success

    Chelsea's late run has somewhat masked a disappointing season for the club; Andre Villas-Boas never had the support of his players and the club limped to a sixth-place finish in the league.

    Similarly to United, Chelsea's old guard, including John Terry, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba, are slowly moving on. In the place of these club legends are new talents Gary Cahill, David Luiz, Juan Mata and Daniel Sturridge, players who hope to etch their own names in the history books at Stamford Bridge.

     

    Competition for places

    Hazard would easily be the top wide player at Chelsea, as midfielders like Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel, Florent Malouda and Salomon Kalou are all past their prime.

    A potential formation that could work well would be 4-2-3-1 with Fernando Torres up front, Mata behind him and new signing Marko Marin and Hazard on the wings.

Decisions, Decisions

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    All three clubs have attributes that make them stand out from the others; City are the champions of England, Chelsea are the champions of Europe and United are led by arguably the best manager in the world.

    All are impressive, but it remains to be seen what most appeals to Eden Hazard.

    Whether the gifted Belgian ends up at Etihad Stadium, Old Trafford or Stamford Bridge, one thing is for certain: Eden Hazard is destined for a successful career in England.