You might ask yourself. Wait, who?
Eden Hazard is only known to most as simply a prospect that Arsenal is keeping track of. But in reality he is so much more.
Hazard plies his trade in Ligue 1, playing for LOSC Lille, which currently have a spot in the 2011 UEFA Champions League. At the tender age of 20, he is the best player on the team and has earned the UNFP Ligue 1 Player of the Year this past season. "How?" you might ask.
The ball sticks to his feet. Simple as that. Hazard plays as an attacking midfielder and can walk around the field with the ball at his feet. What makes him even more enviable is that he is a pass-first player, a playmaker of sorts and very generous with the ball. The maturity he shows with the ball is far beyond his years.
He loves to have the ball deep in opposition territory, often beating defenders running along the end line, just before he picks out a teammate. His shot isn't overwhelming, but when he gets a good look he usually finds the back of the net. Every touch is pure quality and added to an extremely agile and speedy frame, you have got yourself a keeper.
Hazard has also become a mainstay with the Belgium national football team, which he earned his first cap for just before his 18th birthday. He is the centre piece of a Belgium program that has an extremely bright future in the next decade (Lukaku, Kompany, etc.). Hazard, as he matures, will surely lead the country's success and there is no telling how big he will become.
Arsenal picked up (now former) teammate Gervinho from Lille this past summer, and he has proven to be an impact player in the EPL. Considering that while Gervinho and Hazard played together, Hazard was the better and more important player, not to mention being four years younger, there is no way that Hazard wouldn't be able to play at football's highest level.
Will he be moved this January when the transfer window opens up? Maybe.
And for what price? No one really knows.
But if I had any say in a big-time club (hopefully one day), I would throw whatever money I needed to at this kid to get his signature. He is the real deal. There is a mysteriousness about him, like with most Ligue 1 players, as they don't have as much global media attention. But with Hazard, it is especially so, as he intentionally stays out of the spotlight, preferring to fly under the radar.
This behaviour has kept him out of most conversations about the top footballers in the world, but soon this will change. When he makes a move to one of the biggest stages in World Football, whether he likes it or not, he'll be in the spotlight. The world will finally not be oblivious to his talents. Oh, and did I mention that he has little brothers? They play football too (and are really good!).
The conclusion to this is simple. Check this kid out! Google him. Pull out YouTube. Do whichever. But just remember, you heard it hear first, folks.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!