Why Chelsea’s re-signing of Hazard is a terrible idea
According to reports in England and Spain – including in AS – Chelsea are considering re-signing Eden Hazard this summer.
Real Madrid are prepared to let the Belgian winger go for around €60 million, just two years after buying him from Stamford Bridge for €100m.
For many Chelsea fans, the idea of their former hero returning to Stamford Bridge is a salivating one.
After all, Hazard had been arguably the best player in the Premier League over the course of his seven years at Chelsea.
In his last season at Stamford Bridge, he had contributed a magnificent 16 goals and 15 assists in the league and inspired Chelsea to Europa League glory.
Hazard's terrible form at Real Madrid
However, Hazard is now a shadow of his former self – and this is a transfer that owner Roman Abramovich and coach Thomas Tuchel should stay well away from.
His form at Real Madrid over the last two years has been dismal. He has scored just five goals in all competitions from 43 appearances, and supplied only six assists.
In 11 Champions League appearances, he managed one goal and one assist.
Never once has he been named man-of-the-match during his two years at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Hazard's terrible injury record at Real Madrid
His injury record at Madrid is abysmal. He has suffered 12 separate injuries since arriving at the club.
These have included a wide range of problems affecting different muscles, bones and ligaments. He also contracted coronavirus last November.
He has missed 59 games due to physical problems and these woes continued at Euro 2020 with Belgium.
Hazard was only fit enough to start as a substitute for the first two games of the tournament before he suffered a hamstring injury in the last-16 win over Portugal. This forced him to miss the quarter-final exit to eventual winners Italy.
Now 30, there are legitimate concerns that we have physically seen the best of a player who started his career at a very young age – debuting at 16.
He is well down the pecking order at Real Madrid, who are desperate to cut their losses on the player in order to save money.
Hazard a waste of money for Chelsea
Although money is not a problem for Abramovich, who is set to splash the cash this summer in a bid to challenge for a first Premier League title since 2017, signing Hazard makes neither financial nor sporting sense.
Chelsea would be better using the €60m needed for Hazard on a world-class striker such as Erling Haaland or on a top-class centre-back or right wing-back. These are three positions that the Blues do need to strengthen in.
The two attacking midfield positions in Tuchel’s 3-4-2-1 system already have lots of options, with the likes of Mason Mount, Christian Pulisic, Kai Havertz and Timo Werner all fighting it out for playing time. While this area could also certainly be strengthened too, the Hazard of today would not be an upgrade.
Tactically, the Belgian offers very little defensively and in terms of pressing – qualities that are crucial in Tuchel’s system.
And given the cost in terms of transfer fee – and also Hazard’s €23m-a-year salary demands – this would be a very expensive failure.