In a statement on the Blues’ website, the club revealed that Hazard’s deal will last all of the 2014/15 season despite impressing in Belgium over the last two years.
The 21-year-old has been with Belgian side Zulte Waregem since 2012, and he picked up the Golden Shoe award in January, recognising him as the best player in the Belgian Jupiler League last term—per Chelsea Sources:
Thorgan Hazard (on loan at Zulte) has won the Jupiler Pro Golden Boot award, for the best player JPL. pic.twitter.com/M7n7ZHmixG— Chelsea Sources (@ChelseaSources) January 23, 2014
With Chelsea reluctant to give him a chance in the first team just yet, the upcoming season is the most crucial of Hazard’s blossoming career.
The attacker adopts a very similar playing style to his brother, Eden, and he is similarly devastating when he gets on the ball.
According to SoccerWay’s statistics, Hazard scored 14 goals in the Belgian top flight, being crucial behind Zulte Waregem’s fourth-place finish.
However, Monchengladbach will be a big step up for the young Belgian, who has a chance to play more Europa League football in Germany should the club emerge through the play-off round.
It looks a smart piece of business from a Chelsea perspective, as limiting Hazard to a life of substitute appearances and reserve matches in west London could hinder his promising development.
The Bundesliga is a very physical league with pace that comes close to matching that of the Premier League, and Hazard will have plenty to prove in Germany to the watching eyes from Stamford Bridge.
However, even being at Monchengladbach could see the talented youngster having to fight for a place in the team, with the German side harbouring some exciting forward players.
The club’s sporting director, Max Eberl told the Rheinischen Post that no matter the situation with Monchengladbach’s other stars, Hazard was always on their radar—via David Kent of Mail Online:
We were always going to make an attacking signing, no matter what the situation is with Luuk de Jong and Peniel Mlapa, and this will be Thorgan Hazard. We have exchanged contracts with Chelsea and we have agreed with Thorgan, we have all agreed and now just need to sign the contracts.
As those contracts have now been signed, Hazard will take to life in Germany for the next 12 months, and all involved with Chelsea will hope that he enjoys a fruitful spell.
If his recent form is anything to go by then that’s a near certainty, but whether or not he becomes the complete player that his brother is remains to be seen. Then, and only then, after years of development, will the Blues unleash the Hazards on the world.