After seven years of sensational service, the least that Eden Hazard deserved was a proper Premier League send off.
The Belgian superstar is most likely, finally, heading for pastures new this summer after years of courting from Real Madrid, where he will hope to lead Los Blancos away from the doldrums left behind by Cristiano Ronaldo’s mega money move to Serie A.
But on the final day of the season at the King Power Stadium, Hazard was left to cut a dejected figure on the substitutes bench by manager Maurizio Sarri.
Sure, Chelsea have got a huge Europa League final coming up against Arsenal? but their showdown in Baku is not for another 17 days.
Instead, he watched on for the first 68 minutes as the visitors lethargically attempted to break down Leicester’s defence. The reality being that ?Chelsea have absolutely no spark without him?Ruben Loftus-Cheek‘s promising midfield performance aside – and if they do lose him to Real, they are going to have one hell of a problem next season.
Willian, who Hazard came on to replace on the left-hand side, just doesn’t have that wow factor. He’s never really had it in truth, and how he’s managed to force Callum Hudson-Odoi to watch on for the sidelines for most of this season, will remain a mystery to many of us.
For Chelsea, though, he may be their future. They can’t afford to lose both ?Hazard and Willian, as their one-year transfer ban looks likely to be upheld, barring a dramatic intervention from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
So the Brazilian will most likely stay, while Hazard packs his bags for warmer climes.
#cfc have finished third in the Premier League and are top London club in 2018-19. Unbelievable. #LEICHE
— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) May 12, 2019
Without him, they wouldn’t be there. On this evidence, they’ll do very well to hold off Wolves in the league next season, let alone Arsenal or Manchester United.
Hazard, though, deserves his chance to go and be the main man at the Bernabeu. He’s earned it for all he’s given to the club and you have to credit the professional attitude he has always shown on the pitch. His future is bright, but Chelsea’s after his exit – who knows…