Chelsea-Bound Eden Hazard: The Implications of This Signing on the Blues
With Lille starlet Eden Hazard making it all too clear on Twitter where his roads are taking him, it seems West London is suddenly the place to be.
Chelsea's triumph in the final of UEFA Champions League final was a historic, wondrous moment to behold for the club. At the same time, it also holds the club in good stead financially ahead of what could be difficult times for big spenders across Europe.
The cash injection of winning, along with the certainty of generating revenue from the next edition of the continent's elite club competition, puts Chelsea once again in a position to rule the roost in the transfer market.
The upcoming names in the world of football, as I stressed, all want to don the blue jersey right now. FC Porto hitman Hulk is widely tipped to follow Hazard to West London, as reported by The Guardian.
Whatever said, the coup of the diminutive Belgian is truly representative of the Blues' rediscovered muscle power in the transfer zone. And Hazard's imminent arrival is certain to have some serious implications at Chelsea.
Let us see what these could be.
End of Malouda and Kalou's Careers in Blue
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Florent Malouda has now spent a whole season confined to a bit-part role at Chelsea. Rarely making the starting lineup, it seems the once-formidable Frenchman has little to offer the club heading into the future.
Salomon Kalou has been in the thick of things under Roberto Di Matteo. If RDM gets the job permanently, I feel the Ivorian might just be granted a contract extension.
Should the duo choose to stay on, the presence of new wide options in Hazard, Marko Marin and Kevin De Bruyne would make it quite a task to make the starting XI regularly.
Chelsea's activities in the transfer window thus far could spell the end for Malouda and Kalou. In fact, with another forward in Hulk believed to be destined for Chelsea, Daniel Sturridge will also be considering his options.
Changes in Style of Play
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With Didier Drogba's departure and Hazard's arrival, one would expect Chelsea to switch from their traditional direct approach to a more flamboyant style of play. Bombing the ball forward and hoping for the big Ivory Coast frontman to conjure up something is an option no more.
Without Drogba's power play up front, Chelsea would be looking to play with a style based more on passing, possession and ball-retention.
The new manager will relish using the natural width now available. The Blues have sorely lacked this since the days of Robben and Duff.
The sharp, agile and technically gifted Hazard will surely be centerfold to the sea change at Stamford Bridge.
More Goals for Fernando Torres
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Well, this one's a no-brainer. Better service almost always translates into more goals.
Through most of his Chelsea career, Torres has had to drop deep to receive the ball. It would be a better idea to let the Spaniard play to his strengths.
With quality balls from the flanks, Torres will be hitting the back of the net very often. His aerial prowess is not in question, and Eden Hazard possesses the ability to regularly find his man in the box.
With him out wide, Juan Mata would be freed to play down the centre, behind Torres—a role the midfield icon would thrive in.
With this kind of a supporting cast, I can imagine El Niño setting the league on fire once more.
More to Come from Chelsea in the Summer Window
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Bagging the most sought-after young man in Europe is a signal of real intent on the part of Chelsea. Roman Abramovich seems to have decided that he himself will take on the responsibility of rebuilding.
The man clearly isn't one to sit idle and rest on past laurels. He's going all out to make a team that will be good enough to bag top honours for many years to come. Signings like the one of Hazard will place the club in a good position to defend their Champions League and FA Cup titles.
I doubt the cash splash will stop here. Expect a few more high-profile captures. Keep your eyes on the Hulk transfer saga.
More Questions Than Answers for the Next Man in the Manager's Shoes
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Mr. Abramovich has taken matters into his own hands again and is calling the shots. With the public having not the slightest clue to who the next gaffer might be, Roman has followed his instincts—something he has done innumerable times in the past.
This doesn't bode well for the club.
Transfers should be entirely in the hands of the manager. Yet Roberto Di Matteo admitted that signing Marko Marin wasn't his call, according to Sky Sports. Andre Villas-Boas had something similar to say when the Blues snapped up Kevin De Bruyne earlier this year, as reported by the Daily Mail.
The head scouts may be the ones deciding on and keeping track of a club's targets, but only the manager must have the final word.
I'm not trying to say that Eden Hazard isn't a good choice for the club, but let us look at the bigger picture. Whoever bags the permanent job (and I hope it's RDM) will have more questions than answers regarding his stature and authority at Chelsea.