Chelsea: Hazard to Beat Van Persie, Rooney, Aguero to PFA Player of the Year
Eden Hazard sparkled on Sunday afternoon as he inspired Chelsea to a 2-0 victory over a spirited Wigan at the DW Stadium.
The Belgian bamboozled the Latics' debutant Ivan Ramis, dropping a left shoulder and spinning away in the opposite direction after a delicate touch with the outside of his right boot. The Belgian then delivered a perfectly weighted pass in to the path of Branislav Ivanovic, who finished smartly after bursting past Maynor Figueroa.
All this after two minutes, but we were barely able to draw breath before the 21-year-old had made another decisive impact on this football match. Ramis was tormented once again as the former Lille star nudged the ball past the Spaniard and felt the contact from the former Real Mallorca player's outstretched leg. A penalty, of course, there was no doubt.
It only took six minutes for Hazard to show us what all the fuss was about this summer. Manchester City, Manchester United and the Blues tussled for his signature, before the Belgium international revealed on Twitter that it was to be the "Champions League winners" that he would play for next.
A rumoured £32 million price tag could eventually be deemed comparatively good value when you consider some of the other dealings we have witnessed this summer. Wolves rejecting Sunderland's bid in excess of £12 million for Steven Fletcher, according to The Guardian, springs to mind.
Immediately it feels like Chelsea's No. 17 can beat out the likes of the current holder Robin van Persie, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero to be named the Professional Footballers' Association's (PFA) Player of the Year.
Hazard is capable of beating an opponent with a solitary touch, possesses a range of passing that is capable of dissecting the tightest of defences and has the physical gifts to develop a chance through his desire and commitment. All of which combine to give you a potent threat to every side in the league, even the Premier League.
What we did not witness Sunday, though, was an Hazard goal. These come in a multitude of ways, not least from direct free kicks, which Chelsea were unusually deprived of on Sunday. We await to see what numbers Hazard can produce over the season, but 20 goals and 22 assists at LOSC last season is a quite remarkable feat that, if replicated to an extent, will electrify his fellow professionals.
We don't have to wait long to get our next glimpse of Hazard. He will be in action again on Wednesday against Reading, another opportunity to further endear himself to his new supporters, no matter which club they support.
We have all been warned: Hazard is a legitimate world-class talent, and he is ready to take the Premier League by storm.
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