Eden Hazard must leave Chelsea if he is to win the Ballon d’Or
Without Eden Hazard this season, Chelsea would be in a worse predicament than they are now, which does not make happy reading for any Blues
It is no surprise to see Chelsea struggling for consistency when the issues are deeper than surface level. Antonio Conte has made it public that he has a limited dialogue with the Chelsea Board, and he remains unhappy with how player recruitment is conducted.
Seemingly, the Chelsea Board have the final say on the players, with Conte having to work with what he has got, thus becoming aggravated with lost targets last summer and in January. There is a palpable tension between the manager and the club, which has caused on-pitch difficulties.
Chelsea’s recent form has been ever so inconsistent, and they are now immersed in a very close battle for a top-four finish. It goes without saying, but if the Blues do not qualify for the UEFA Champions League, Conte will be relieved of his duties with immediate effect.
However, with the tensions and difficulties rising at Chelsea, one player who has not been affected has been Eden Hazard. The fantastic Belgian forward has been in sensational form, single-handedly winning games for Chelsea in their time of need.
In Hazard’s last six Premier League appearances, he has scored six goals - five of which have been instrumental in securing points for Chelsea. The other one, against Watford, drew the Blues level in the game with 10 minutes to go, but Chelsea collapsed drastically and allowed the Hornets to run riot at the end.
There has always been a debate whether Hazard is playing at his true potential, and for all of his good work this year, it still looks like he can reach a higher level. That level is unlikely to happen with the way Chelsea’s club is set up and without a harmonious environment around him.
Real Madrid have been long-time admirers of the Belgian, even before he joined Chelsea, and it is no great shock that they are routinely checking in with him through the people around him, gauging his mood and whether he would be open for a move to the Spanish capital in the summer.
Los Blancos are in their own world of trouble with Zinedine Zidane on the verge of being sacked, with only the fate of the UEFA Champions League saving him for now. While it would seem that Hazard would potentially be swapping one disorganised club for another, Madrid provides a different platform to excel on.
Chelsea are not the same Chelsea they were a few seasons ago. The owner, Roman Abramovich, has tightened the purse strings and simply cannot compete with the likes of Manchester United and Manchester City.
With less money being spent on attracting the best talent in the world, it makes it a harder job for Hazard to receive the recognition he thinks he deserves. To be credited as one of the best in the world, players are usually in-and-around the semi-finals and finals of the Champions League. It is the ultimate test of a player and a team’s level.
Hazard might be world-class, but he can’t deliver Chelsea a Champions League by himself. It is not a one-man job. He needs exceptional talent around him, and he simply does not have that right now with the Blues.
Florentino Pérez, Real Madrid’s President, will not stand for another underwhelming season, and so you can expect a large squad overhaul this summer with Hazard being on the list of targets.
If Hazard has true aspirations of becoming one of the best players in the world, he should jump at the opportunity to play at one of the biggest and best clubs in the world, alongside some of the best talents in Europe.
With Cristiano Ronaldo slowly approaching to the end of his career and Gareth Bale forever injured, Hazard would be a welcomed addition by Los Blancos’ fans. It would be a match made in heaven and the Belgian international can develop into one of the few true superstars.
It will be an interesting summer to see what direction both Chelsea and Hazard take, but the Belgian must be smart in his next step, given he is now 27 years old and firmly in his prime years.