The Eden Hazard Conundrum

Stay to become a Chelsea legend? Or fulfil his lifelong Real Madrid dream?

Eden Hazard. Real Madrid. The never-ending questions.

The Chelsea faithful have seen him be asked the same questions for many years now, and the answers given back are always the same too. Sometimes cryptic, sometimes honest… but always the same.

Let’s get it right out of the way – Hazard has always wanted to play for Real Madrid. It was his childhood club and has always dreamed of playing for them ever since he saw the legendary Zinedine Zidane adorn the number 5 back in 2001.

So when France Football spoke to Hazard recently (taken place not long after Chelsea’s defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in the Carabao Cup Semi-Final 1st Leg) – he was once again asked the same questions regarding his Chelsea future and his potential future at the Madrid giants:

Tweets – @HLNinEngeland

As you can see, nothing new really. Asked about Madrid, respectfully passes it off with the typical answer we’ve become to expect. This time, however, you could sense that something was different. It came across that even Eden is over this now.

Just as importantly… so are the fans. Not just over it, but bored of it.

All season long, the ‘will he, won’t he’ saga has dragged on, with either a quote from Hazard, from Madrid or from someone who knows Eden personally. And whilst we rather not hear anything of potential transfers to the Bernabeu, we’ve always been quietly confident he would stay.

Finally being able to express himself freely under new coach Maurizio Sarri, Hazard has carried over his form from last summer’s World Cup and is easily in the form of his life right now. Goals, assists and MOTM performances aplenty – with only Lionel Messi outperforming him statistically – many have argued and believe that Hazard has finally reached the next level in terms of talent.

After scoring his 100th (& 101st) in the 2-1 win over Watford in December, he stated that he wanted to score many more goals for Chelsea and to become a legend at the club:

Multiple TOTY selections, multiple debates on players being compared to him (not the other way round I might add), along with him and his family being happy in London… it’s safe to say that Eden is clearly enjoying his football and enjoying life as well.

With all of this – what is the problem then? That ‘said’ problem is the lifelong dream – pulling on the shirt of Los Blancos. It has always been at the back of Eden’s mind.

Recently turning 28, alongside Real going through their own transition with Cristiano Ronaldo gone (and the likes of Karim Benzema, Luka Modrić et al leaving as well), maybe he feels this is the perfect (& last?) chance for him to move to the Spanish capital and showcase himself by becoming the main man for the thirteen-time European Champions.

Photo Source: @SkySportsPL (Twitter)

With only 18 months left on his current contract – and Chelsea more than ready to offer the Belgian captain a new deal – fans simply want to know the answer to the ONLY question that matters now:

Will he stay or will he go?

Sooner rather than later, Eden needs to reveal his decision. If he knows that himself even…T

Terry Sazio.

If he does end up leaving for Real Madrid, here are three potential replacements for Eden Hazard – a piece from my Echo colleague Liam Wilson.

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