In June of 2019, just one month before Frank Lampard took over as Chelsea head coach, Eden Hazard completed his dream transfer to Real Madrid. Hazard was long an admirer of Madrid coach and former player Zinidine Zidane. Hazard also linked up with close friend and former Chelsea teammate Thibaut Courtois, who left Chelsea the year prior due to growing dissatisfaction with Chelsea’s managerial turnover that saw Courtois play under four different managers during his time in England. While Chelsea in truth could use the services of both players, Courtois has established himself as a mainstay between the sticks for Zidane’s side after an initially turbulent start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu. Hazard meanwhile has been as ineffective as he’s been healthy at Madrid, having thus far made a paltry 33 appearances over one and a half seasons whilst scoring a modest three goals, a far cry from his true quality.
An Eden Hazard return to Stamford Bridge could be mutually beneficial for many, with the Chelsea board scrambling for ways to finish inside the top 4, and Madrid likely desiring for their player to return to form. Hazard is now closer to the end of his career rather than the beginning having turned 30 at the beginning of the month. However, he offers a low-risk high reward option for the Blues, offering at the very least experience in the Premier League and individual drive and creativity from the left wing. For Chelsea, this hopefully would mean some production from the left flank, which has been totally devoid of scoring and creativity for almost the entire season. Christian Pulisic, like Hazard, has been oft-injured and mostly ineffective while Timo Werner on the other hand just really isn’t a winger. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been in and out of the lineup and on different flanks while filling in for one of Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech.
In addition to providing an attacking spark and creativity, Hazard was also a dressing room favorite and maintains great links within the team. During Olivier Giroud’s hot run of form during the triumphant 2018-19 Europa League campaign, Hazard hailed Giroud as “maybe” the best target man in the world. A Hazard return would bode well in this case, as Giroud has supplanted Tammy Abraham and Timo Werner as Frank Lampard’s preferred number 9 on multiple occasions.
While this article is largely speculative and thinking out loud of sorts, it does make perfect sense. Chelsea’s board are truly growing restless and desperate and currently with the winter transfer window looking like a crapshoot it might not hurt to try and take a flier on the lottery ticket that is Eden Hazard. Maybe you win, maybe you don’t. It’s hard to imagine Real Madrid considering a deal like this non-negotiable considering Hazard has just one goal this campaign. Almost any other player can offer a similar return while Hazard can play elsewhere, and collect a loan fee at the same time. And of course, in the worst-case scenario Hazard can always be recalled to the Santiago Bernabeu. Alas, it is a break from the managerial rumors. Stay calm and stay patient Chelsea fans.
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