Eden Hazard is a Chelsea player. The news is on the club website. He was pictured holding a Chelsea shirt. He gave an interview to Chelsea TV. If you still had any doubt, he even posted a tweet to confirm that he’s joined Chelsea FC. Some of us weren’t entirely confident that we would sign him and were fearing a last minute bomb. You can’t blame us given how close we have been to some of the signings that are now lighting up the premier league from our rival teams now.
Hazard could have gone to Manchester. He didn’t. To say that he chose Chelsea because he wouldn’t have got enough opportunities there is a myth. Look at Utd. On the wings, they start 38-year old Giggs, the inconsistent Nani, not-so-world-class Ashley Young, work horse like Park – Can’t Eden Hazard get opportunities in Man Utd? Look at Man City. Eden Hazard can’t start over Samir Nasri, James Milner, Adam Johnson etc? You’re having a laugh! Both Man Utd and Man City very badly wanted to sign Eden Hazard and he chose to sign for the champions of Europe. Why? We have the best project.
Chelsea are rebuilding their squad. We are turning a page in our history. We are creating something new, something fresh. It’s really exciting to be part of something like this. I have complete respect for Hazard for having chosen to join Chelsea for this reason. He also did mention that this is a young squad and that excites him. Well, it’s not quite yet but that’s what it will be. Clearly he’s been advised that Chelsea will get younger and younger. And that should have excited him.
Also remember, Roman spoke to him to get his sigature. Hazza (oh yeah! that’s his nickname) would have seen how passionate Roman is and how exciting his ambitions and aspirations are. For someone like Eden Hazard joining Chelsea at this stage can make a mark for himself and play a leading role in the new Chelsea. In contrast, Man Utd has already been a very successful club. You only might have to continue what’s already been happening. No new agenda there. Man City could have interested him. But with Sheikh willing to spend any amount of money, either it could have made it less challenging for him or might have felt that they could bring in the best winger next season and make his role shrink. That’s a fear any Man City player would have. They are all easily replaceable by Sheikh. No need to persist with anyone. They could buy the best player in each position from the market. That would put players like Hazard in a soup.
Hazard is only 21. What he needs now is a successful but ambitious club with an exciting project that would allow him to grow and also give him the pride of playing a leading role in their new project. No other club than Chelsea fits this bill. Hazard has made the right decision by joining the champions of Europe.
From Chelsea’s side, Hazard’s signing is super-significant. We just proved to the football world that we still have a draw over Man Utd and Man City when it comes to attracting talent. We had a head-on battle with the Manchester teams on Hazard and beat them to submission in a matter of few days. That’s a great message for Chelsea. After a season where we finished 25 points behind the premier league champions, you’d have expected the Manchester clubs to run away with whatever top talent that wants to play in the premier league and leave only the others for the rest.
Also, as have been noted by all, this is a massive statement of intent from Chelsea. To sign Marin and Hazard, and still being in the hunt for Hulk, it’s quite clear that Roman wants none of the 6th place nonsense we had this season. He’s not rebuilding the team to get back into top four. He’s rebuilding to win the premier league title and defend the champions league title.
Pep Guardiola has already said that he is willing to return to football management earlier if a club can ‘seduce’ him. If you look at the players that are leaving and joining Chelsea, you can see the shift of balance from power and directness to flair and style. You can’t help but think these are made with a particular manager in mind. Many people say that we should hire the manager first before making the signings. Roman wants to get the squad in place so he can lure the manager that he wants to hire.
I’m hoping that we sign Hulk shortly and a very good right back. If we do that, finally, for once, I’d be fully content with our squad and would not be asking for any more players coming in. We lacked proper wingers, now we have them. We lacked a specialist full back, we would get them. We wanted playmakers and ball players, we would have them too. The only thing we would be missing is the midfield general but I’m hoping Lampard can play that role for one more season.
If I see Roman’s pattern in identifying players for our future, the midfield general will have to be in the mould of Xavi who would be the fulcrum of the team and would be orchestrating the attack. Lampard is not quite that. He’s a different type of midfielder. For this team, a Xavi type midfielder would suit better than a Lampard type midfielder. Romeu or McEachran can be that.
It so happened that most of the Chelsea players can rest or holiday and prepare for the next season instead of getting fatigued at the Euro 2012. We have a number of Belgian players now and Belgium did not qualify for Euro. And we have a few Brazilian and African players who can enjoy the break. We have a few English players who are not playing in the Euro due to injuries. And we have a bunch of young players who are not in the Euro squad of their respective teams. It’s a blessing in disguise, isn’t it?
It’s been a great few weeks for Chelsea FC and we’re not done yet. Let’s sign Hulk and that full back. Let Torres have a great Euro. And, the other most important thing – appoint the full time manager. One thing is for sure – we are doing all the right things. The future is bright! The future is blue! KTBFFH!