Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea Transfers: Is Eden Hazard Worth It?

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Arsenal, Liverpool, Chelsea Transfers: Is Eden Hazard Worth It?
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
Lille OSC Winger Eden Hazard (left): Is He Worth £40 million?

Chelsea and Inter Milan have reportedly joined Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Real Madrid in the race to land £40million-rated Lille OSC winger Eden Hazard.

With the most elite clubs in the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga chasing Ligue 1's finest talent, it seems as if there'll be an auction in world football for his signature. Perhaps even Anzhi Makhachkala will get in on the act.

But the big question is, is Eden Hazard worth the figures quoted?

Perhaps he is, considering he's still only 20 yet already is an experienced professional having made over 150 appearances at the highest level in France, and having played over 20 games in the UEFA Champions League and Europa League.

In that time, he's also scored 33 goals and made 27 assists. Not bad for a kid.

And he's started the with season with a bang, scoring five goals and making five assists from 14 matches.

But apart from that, he's been by far and away Lille's best player, making 23 key passes at a rate of 2.3 chances created per game.

He's also a consistent goal threat, having on average 2.6 shots per game, hitting 50 percent of them on target, scoring once every three times he hits the target.

Hazard is also an expert at carrying the ball, completing 2.1 dribbles per game, which has helped him win a staggering 42 fouls in just 10 league matches.

So at the moment he definitely seems to be a player worth the hype. But is he worth £40million, especially compared to other similar players on the transfer market?

Are There Better Value Players On The Market Than Eden Hazard?

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Once such player is Stevan Jovetic, who's been in great form for Fiorentina this season.

He may make less key passes, and has a lower pass success rate, but he has better ability to carry the ball, successfully completing three dribbles per game.

He's also more of a goal threat, hitting on average 4.8 shots per match, with the same percentage on target as Hazard.

On top of that, Jovetic also has a better rate of passing accurately through balls than Hazard.

He's about a year older than Hazard, but is virtually as good, and would cost less than the Belgian.

Another option is Borussia Dortmund star Mario Goetze, who is reportedly available for £26million.

The 19-year-old is less experienced than Hazard, but also has a league title under his belt after winning the Bundesliga last season.

He's made more key passes per game with a rate of three chances created per match, and is also a better ball carrier having completed four dribbles per match. The German also puts in more accurate crosses per game.

However, he has a lower pass success rate despite making fewer passes on average, and scores less goals as well.

Overall though, he'd make an equally good addition to his new team in the playmaker role, considering both have the same number of assists this term, and for less money.

Eden Hazard YouTube Compilation 2011/12

One other alternative could be Napoli's Marek Hamsik, who was linked with Arsenal in a £25million move in the summer transfer window.

Hamsik is older and more experienced than the other options, including Hazard, and has a better career goals per game ratio.

He hasn't performed as well as Hazard or the other players as of yet this season, but he's hit more accurate long balls than any of them, and has the best ratio in terms of goals scored to minutes played, and would cost less.

So, is Eden Hazard worth the money the top clubs are said to be paying for him?

Only time will tell, but at the moment, there seems to be equally good options available at a lower price.

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