Man Utd’s transfer loss was Chelsea’s gain after Eden Hazard’s surprise interview
Chelsea is still missing the unrivaled brilliance of Eden Hazard, but where does he rank among the Best Premier League Transfers Ever? Vote down below.
It’s worth remembering how wonderful Eden Hazard was at Chelsea. Hazard won two titles at Stamford Bridge and a slew of individual awards as he became probably the Premier League’s finest player at the time, bamboozling defenders with his extraordinary dribbling and eye for goal.
Hazard appeared to be the heir apparent to Messi and Ronaldo’s thrones at the end of his Chelsea career. While Chelsea sold him at the right time, they also got to see a truly great forward in his peak before cashing in to help the next generation flourish.
The injury-prone winger was even rumored to return to the Blues under Thomas Tuchel in 2021, but that didn’t happen. It’s a measure to the Belgian’s impact at Chelsea that such a comeback was possible, despite his rapid decline in form since transferring to Madrid.
Hazard’s twinkle toes and predatory penchant for hitting the net earned him 85 goals and 61 assists in 245 Premier League games for Chelsea. After compiling 13 goals and eight assists in 2015, the winger was named FA Player of the Year at the age of 24.
For Blues fans, the 2014/15 season will be remembered for Hazard’s clinical finishing and tremendous skill, which helped Chelsea win the Premier League and the League Cup. Hazard’s move to Chelsea was approved early in the 2012 summer transfer window, establishing the Belgian as a key transfer target for Roman Abramovich’s plans to propel the Blues higher up the league.
Moving from Lille, the Belgian international was at the center of a European-wide transfer war. With teams such as Manchester United, Real Madrid, and Barcelona vying for Hazard’s signature, supporters around the continent were taken aback when he revealed his plans to transfer to Stamford Bridge in a French radio interview.
The Ligue 1 Player of the Year exposed his reasoning live on TV, sabotaging Chelsea’s carefully orchestrated presentation but providing supporters with insight into why such a sought-after emerging star picked west London to lay his boots. Success breeds success, as Hazard admitted that the Blues’ Champions League victory piqued his curiosity, highlighting his goals and desire to earn other honours with the club.
Hazard moved to Stamford Bridge for over £32 million and went on to become a symbol of the Blues’ success, becoming the fourth Belgian to join Chelsea’s stable following Kevin De Bruyne, Thibaut Courtois, and Romelo Lukaku. Hazard’s cost made him the Blues’ second-most expensive signing after Fernando Torres’ £50 million fee – and the Blues certainly made the most of him, eking out every last drop of talent and creativity from the dazzling showman until his departure to Real Madrid in 2019.
Given Hazard’s injury troubles in Madrid, that massive deal – at an initial £88 million but possibly worth up to £130 million – appears like an excellent piece of business. While Chelsea fans were disappointed when the Belgian left, the money was well spent, as the Blues went on to win the Champions League with a new-look group.
Is Hazard your favorite Premier League signing of all time? Or will another Chelsea legend beat him to the punch? Vote for the Best Premier League Transfers Ever in the poll above.