It’s been one of the most protracted transfer sagas of the past 18 months, but Eden Hazard (£4.82) seems to have provided yet another major hint that he may well be on his way to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer.
Recent quotes attributed to Hazard have stated “I have made my decision” and that Chelsea have already been informed that his mind is made up. It appears likely that Hazard’s future transfer will be officially confirmed following the Europa League final against Arsenal and a fee of around €100million is being mooted.
It’s been a funny old season for Chelsea. Having finished in third place, as well as making it to the League Cup and Europa League final, you could be forgiven for thinking this has been a very positive first season for Sarri. But these results mask an underlying discontent, particularly surrounding Sarri. Since the fallout from the League Cup final in which Kepa Arrizabalaga (£0.35) refused to be substituted, the questions regarding how much respect Sarri commands from the dressing room have refused to die down.
Questions have also been raised regarding Chelsea’s style of play this season. Their Italian manager was famed for his exciting and attacking ‘Sarri-Ball’ with Napoli. In fact, the Italian side scored 77 goals last season and 94 the year before. However, Chelsea have only managed 63 goals this season, suggesting that Sarri is still some way off his desired style of play.
One of the only bright sparks for the Blues this season has been Eden Hazard’s superb form. When you break down his stats, you really do get a sense of just how crucial Hazard is to this Chelsea side. The Belgian has looked formidable this season, hitting 16 goals and 15 assists, but it is the consistency with which Hazard has done the business which really marks him as one of the world’s best. In 351 appearances for Chelsea, he has managed a whopping return of 108 goals and 91 assists; this translates to nearly 1 goal and 1 assist in every 3 matches! With this in mind, the potential sale of Hazard will prove to be a massive loss for a Chelsea side which will be further hamstrung with a transfer ban this summer.
The continued noise surrounding Hazard’s potential sale ensured that he won top spot in the Media Dividends yesterday. However, Hazard has been subject to a 24p drop over the course of the week and it will be interesting to see how he continues to respond on the market once confirmation of the transfer goes through. Whilst his price may well fluctuate over the coming weeks, one thing is for sure, if this transfer does go through, Hazard will be leaving some very big shoes that will need filling over in Stamford Bridge.