After playing a starring role for Belgium at the World Cup, Chelsea ace Eden Hazard’s future has been a topic of discussion amid links with Real Madrid.
As per Sport, the Spanish giants have been linked with a €225m double raid on Chelsea for Hazard and his compatriot Thibaut Courtois, with doubts continuing to surface over the pair’s future at Stamford Bridge.
Having been a fundamental part of Chelsea’s success since 2012, scoring 89 goals in 300 appearances to help lead them to two Premier League titles and the FA Cup last season, it could be time for the 27-year-old to move on for a new challenge and test himself at the highest level.
Belgium national coach Roberto Martinez has seemingly nudged him in that direction, as after lauding him with praise, he suggested that perhaps the time had come for Hazard to move on and take his career to the next step as he enters his peak years.
“It could be the best time [for Hazard] to try something different,” he told the “El Larguero” radio show, as quoted by ESPN. “He is a player who has maturity and a lot of leadership. His play is based on talent. Hazard could carry a new project anywhere in the world. He is at the best moment of his career.
“For me, it’s very easy to answer that question. He could fit in any team in the world. Players need new challenges and new projects. Perhaps it’s a good time for [Chelsea] and for Eden [to split]. I would be very surprised if Chelsea didn’t have big offers for him right now.”
Real Madrid do of course have a very significant void to fill this summer after Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to join Juventus, and coupled with the disruption at coaching level with Julen Lopetegui replacing Zinedine Zidane, it could be a crucial transition period.
Whether or not Hazard is the right player to step in and take up that role is up for debate, but time will tell if Chelsea are willing to allow him to leave if an offer comes in from the reigning European champions.
There’s no denying his talent, but in order to ensure that Los Blancos are able to sustain their incredible success in recent years, he’ll surely have to show further improvement in the final third if he does indeed seal a move.