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Eden Hazard is playing without purpose, like a player certain of moving on

Eden Hazard, Chelsea, Belgium, Jose Mourinho, Guus Hiddink
The Belgium international’s form has nosedived in 2015-16, with only one club goal to his name so far this season.

In Chelsea’s 2014-15 Premier League title winning season, their talisman Eden Hazard scored 14 goals and assisted in nine (28 matches) to win the PFA Player of the year award. Over halfway into the subsequent season and Hazard has yet to score (20 matches) and looks a meek shadow of the player he was. No reigning PFA Player of the Year has suffered such a bad dip in form.

Chelsea have had an upturn in fortunes since Guus Hiddink took charge from Mourinho – their first defeat under the Dutchman this season came this week at PSG – but Hazard still looks lost and surprisingly out of his depth. What started off as a slump in form is slowly turning into a Fernando Torres-esque routine of trial without reward at Chelsea.

Cynically one could suggest that Hazard has been tapped up (approached by another club), which is factoring into the way he is playing. A drop in form would lead to a drop in value, sweetening the deal for his next employers who, if Hazard’s comments are anything to go by, seem to be PSG. After suffering defeat in Paris, Hazard said it would be ‘difficult’ to turn down a move to the French capital.

While not ‘kicking him up and down the training pitch’ as Roy Keane suggested, Hazard’s teammates and Chelsea fans are likely resigned to the fact that he will leave Stamford Bridge in the summer. If he has indeed been tapped up – which is against FIFA rules by the way – it wouldn’t be a first for the 25-year-old. Harry Redknapp, manager of Tottenham between 2008 and 2012, admitted to meeting Hazard when he was a Lille player to discuss a potential move.

After winning last year’s PFA Player of the year, then Chelsea manager Mourinho compared Hazard to Cristiano Ronaldo, who had won the same award as a Manchester United player in 2007 and 2008. Mourinho couldn’t have been more off the mark! Ronaldo would go on to redefine world football while Hazard is fading into obscurity.

 

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