Eden Hazard: Why Belgian Winger Makes Chelsea Title Favorites Next Season

Jon SiddowayCorrespondent IMay 29, 2012

CHAMBON, FRANCE - JULY 23:  Eden Hazard of Lille in action during the pre-season friendly match between Lille and Saint Etienne on July 23, 2011 in Chambon sur Lignon, France.  (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)
Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

Chelsea's title hopes for next season received an early boost with the signing of Eden Hazard, considered one of football's brightest young talents. The Belgian winger, also heavily pursued by Machester City and Manchester United, announced his decision via Twitter on Monday:

"I'm signing for the Champions League winner."

Short, simple and an ideal way to cap off what has been a wild month of May for the Blue. 

After a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Barclays Premier League, the club went on an improbable run—which included knocking out powerhouse Barcelona in the semis and a penalty shoot-out over Bayern Munich in the final—to hoist its first ever European Cup.

With the addition of Hazard, the message has been sent loud and clear: Chelsea are determined to keep the momentum rolling and establish themselves as a dominant force in both England and Europe. 

Hazard should help fill the rather large void to be left by Didier Drogba (and Salomon Kalou) at the end of the summer, and provide the offense with another playmaking threat. The 21-year-old tallied 20 league goals—one behind the league-leading total set by Olivier Giroud of Montpellier—and 16 assists for Lille last season.

He's superb with the ball at his feet, in open space and has the skill set to complement a resurgent Fernando Torres. Both will keep defenses on their toes for years to come. 

With much deeper pockets than before—the win in Munich has been calculated to be worth more than 100 million pounds—Chelsea are out to assemble a much deeper squad than before. Expect more moves to follow as Roman Abramovich has expressed an interest in tweaking the roster to implement a more free-flowing style of play. 

Chelsea appear poised—and now equipped—to make a serious run at a Premier League title next season. 

It just won't be a surprise this time around.