Eden Hazard is one of the best footballers on the planet. Nobody can put that in doubt. The best player at Chelsea, that’s for sure. And to keep him at the club is absolutely crucial.
Antonio Conte’s work has been undoubtably amazing, picking up a group that needed new motivations and bringing them to the Premier League title. But, at the end of the day, it’s the players who are on the pitch, and the man who gives quality to this current Chelsea side is Hazard.
Looking at the sums in the recent transfer windows, and considering the Belgian’s age, a price tag of roughly 100 million pounds seems about the right one. But Chelsea should say no to any offer was someone to come with that sum. Because Hazard is in many ways irreplaceable.
If Real Madrid were to sell Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard would be one of the natural replacements. And the price tag would be accessible for Los Blancos, who could try their luck. Chelsea would then have to reinvest that sum immediately to find a starter that brings that many goals and assists: not an easy task.
Hazard is the extra spark. Moving on to play in the Champions League as well as trying to retain the Premier League title, these are the kind of players Chelsea need to hold on to, trying to add similar level footballers to raise the bar.
Any offer would be too little for Hazard. Not that he seems like wanting to leave or the club intend to sell him. But if Real Madrid were to try their everything, Chelsea should still say no. Who could replace him? Who knows English football this well and could adapt immediately?
Names such as James Rodriguez – great players who need to change to find playing time – could be decent options, but would have to be tested in the top English league. Not an easy one for Chelsea. The truth is, one can let go of Diego Costa, and find another number ‘9’, although even that is difficult, but someone like Hazard is almost unique.
To claim to be a possible challenger for the upcoming Champions League campaign and to repeat themselves domestically, Chelsea absolutely need to keep the key players, Hazard being the most important one. Add quality and depth to the squad, without having to say no to anyone. This will be the key to another successful season at Stamford Bridge.