2017 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FINAL HOTELS, CARDIFF June 3RD & KIEV 2018 - CLICK HERE to BOOK HOTELS PACKAGES Eden Hazard: What Can We Expect?

Eden Hazard: What Can We Expect?

Chelsea’s most celebrated and well-known signing of the summer so far has to be Eden Hazard. Moving to Chelsea from LOSC Lille in France after being the Ligue 1 Player of the Year for two consecutive years (a feat even the likes of Thierry Henry and Zinedine Zidane couldn’t achieve) for a massive £32m, the expectations from Hazard are understandably immense. Hazard impressed many Chelsea fans during preseason. He is clinical in his passing and very quick on the ball. He also netted his first goal for Chelsea against the Seattle Sounders. He is fast, active and has great ball control (to know more read  360 Verdict: Eden Hazard ). But the teams he played well against were not from the Premier League.

Hazard had his first taste of the physical nature of the English Premier League against Manchester City in the Community Shield match. Playing as a LW with Juan Mata in the centre and Fernando Torres upfront in a 4-2-3-1 formation, Hazard influenced the game pretty well. His dribbling skills were great and he was a constant threat to City. He would have done even better if Juan Mata had been a little better but Mata was visibly tired (understandable as he played 60 games for us last season plus the Euros & the Olympics). However, as with most talented midfielders and forwards in the EPL, Hazard was continuously fouled. He was easily the most fouled player of the match and this kept him from having a larger influence on the game. There was also a moment in the game when Hazard tried a backheel. The move failed and Hazard was left flat on the ground. This would have made most players lose their confidence but Hazard just smiled and was back on his feet in an instant.

The incident showed that he is a confident player. He is not afraid to experiment. He is very confident on the field. He knows about the potential he has and constantly tries to reach higher levels. He does not worry about the media and critics and concentrates on his game. In an interview after the match, Hazard said that he, like all players, will surely have a few bad games but that he was happy in England. He said he liked his first taste of the physical style of football played in England. He also said that he was very ‘Zen’- calm- about his transfer price and that the cost does not put any pressure on him.

One cannot help but compare Eden Hazard’s playing style, skill and confidence to a player very similar but more established in Europe. I am talking about Christiano Ronaldo. Hazard has a similar playing style to him with speed and dribbling skills being his key assets. Hazard was also called ‘Ronaldo 2.0’ last season. Although it may take some time for Hazard to settle into the EPL, he has a lot in store for us. I won’t be surprised if Eden Hazard one day reaches- or maybe even surpasses- the levels that Ronaldo or even Messi have achieved. Eden Hazard is all set to be the next big thing in European football and take Chelsea to greater heights.

By Aditya Sane

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