Chelsea news: Eden Hazard's exit the biggest Premier League loss since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United, claims John Cross
What's the story?
Eden Hazard's recent move from Chelsea to Real Madrid is the biggest Premier League loss since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for the Spanish giants, according to journalist John Cross.
In case you didn't know...
Hazard finally saw his dream move confirmed by Real Madrid on Friday in a transfer that is expected to exceed £150 million.
The Belgium international, who has established himself as a beloved and influential figure at Stamford Bridge, has agreed to a five-year contract with Los Blancos.
The 28-year-old scored 110 goals in 352 appearances for the Blues, having won two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, an FA Cup and a League Cup with the club in the process.
The heart of the matter
The Daily Mirror's chief football writer, Cross, believes that Hazard's exit will hit the club harder than ever before, especially since they face a transfer ban. He conceded that the loss transcends Chelsea as the Belgian's exit proves to be the biggest loss to the English top flight since Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Manchester United.
Speaking on the Nations League Supplement podcast, he said, "One thing we forget about Eden Hazard because we know it has been coming for so long, is that it detracts from the devastating blow that it will be, not just for Chelsea, but for the Premier League."
"I think it is the biggest single loss of a player since Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid - I think he is that talented."
He continued, "Hazard is the single best player in the Premier League. He's so influential for Chelsea. When he gets the ball in even the most mundane games, he can light up the whole occasion and he looks like he glides across the pitch. He's a wonderful, wonderful player and it will be a massive blow for Chelsea."
"It will bring the club down and it will have a deflating, destabilizing effect in many ways. Clearly, Hazard has had his sights set on Real Madrid and it is a devastating blow for the Premier League and for the next two or three years, we'll miss him," Cross conceded.
Hazard will be officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player on June 13, the club has confirmed.