Much to the chagrin of media folk, Lille star winger Eden Hazard’s transfer saga turned out to be more of short story, as it took no more than a week for the winger to reportedly choose that he will be moving to Chelsea this summer, according to Goal.com.
Rated at £32 million, this is not exactly a move that the Blues should take lightly, but still one that they need to get done and wrap up soon to move on to other areas of interest.
The 21-year-old was almost unanimously considered the biggest fish in the transfer market as he already possesses the skills to be an impact player, with time to grow on his side.
But the move itself should be met with as much joy from Chelsea fans as worry from other EPL clubs, particularly those in Manchester who were snubbed if Hazard prefers life in the south.
Hazard was only spurred to take a look at Chelsea after the club won Champions League stating (from Goal.com, “They've won the Champions League and will therefore be in it next season. It's really important for me to be playing in that competition.”
Chelsea’s triumphant win over Bayern Munich two weeks ago looks to have more and more impact on the growth of the club. But it also could have tipped the balance of the Premier League back in the Blues' favor.
Hazard, of course, would provide Chelsea with the dynamic wing play they lacked all season. Players like Daniel Sturridge, Salomon Kalou and Ramires were filling in on the wings out of their natural position and at times it showed.
It was their lack of decision-making over lack of skill that really hurt the team, passing when they should shoot and more so shooting when they should have passed. They also struggled mightily when isolated on the wing, not able to work themselves out of tight positions leading to dead possessions and turnovers.
What other big name will Chelsea most likely sign?
With Hazard, this would be a worry of the past as these are the facets he excels in. He would be the perfect complement to both the striker and other attacking players such as Juan Mata and Frank Lampard.
But his impact in the odds of the Premier League is only partly based on skill and it is perhaps the smallest amount. Let’s be honest: Man-for-man, the Manchester clubs are equally, if not more talented than Chelsea. Though Hazard would make them much more competitive, it is still impossible in this game for one player to completely decide results.
Hazard’s potential announcement that he will be moving to Stamford Bridge has much bigger implications in this summer than next fall.
It was a year ago that City and United were the premier destination for the world’s top players in England, with Chelsea a close third. As the season unfolded and the Blues continued to decline in the table, they also did in terms of interest from potential targets.
But the signing of Hazard would reverse the stigma and could lead to a trend that will see Roman Abramovich signing more names on his wish list.
Other notable names Chelsea have been linked to, such as Porto star Hulk (per ESPN) and Atletico Madrid striker Falcao (per the Daily Mail), may be more inclined to make the same move as Hazard, seeing the huge upside the club has through the actions of the young Belgian.
Of course, the prospect of bringing in all these names is unlikely as the cost would be staggering, but the raise in profile continues to prove how critical the Champions League success was. Even younger and “lesser” players may be willing to sacrifice money to be a part of what is looking more and more the foundation for building a successful future and proves that Chelsea is not to be ignored in the upcoming season.
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