Eden Hazard to Barcelona is perfect for both parties
Following Belgium's exit from the World Cup, transfer rumours surfaced again involving Eden Hazard. This time, Real Madrid wasn't the interested party. It was their arch-rivals, FC Barcelona. It's the perfect deal for both club and player, even if Maurizio Sarri is coming to Stamford Bridge, bringing Jorghino with him.
Eden Hazard has been a wantaway star at Stamford Bridge for quite a while. The club is in a mess. They sacked Antonio Conte a day after pre-season began to make way for Sarri. No signings have been made even though all their rivals are busy. The owner's intentions are unknown.
Hazard made it evident last summer he will only stay if the Blues invest in more top quality signings. Jorginho might come but countryman Thibaut Courtois might be on the move. Signs are not positive. Hazard carried them to an FA Cup last season. There's only so much a player can do.
Now, Barcelona has emerged as a potential suitor. The Blaugrana must revamp their squad this summer. There is deadwood to sell, positions to upgrade.
Antoine Griezmann was touted as the player to add strength in the final third. Then he made 'La Decision' to stay at Atletico Madrid.
Reliable sources now confirm the Blaugrana have shifted their attention to the talented Belgian. Some even say that Hazard is the top priority. The transfer will cost Barca, but Griezmann was going to do the same.
Eden Hazard out-dribbled everyone at the World Cup after dominating the Premier League for years. He is ready to step up and team alongside Lionel Messi.
But the question arises: Where will he fit in at Barcelona? How will he accommodate with Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele and most importantlyMessi?
Hazard will play on the left wing. Coutinho isn't a winger. He is an attacking midfielder who operates in the inside left channel and that is what exactly he will do. Ernesto Valverde can set up a 4-3-3 with Sergio Busquets holding and Ivan Rakitic as the box-to-box presence with Coutinho pushing forward. Ousmane Dembele will be tearing down the right flank while Messi assumes the false nine.
The Argentine had his best years as a false nine flanked by goalscoring wingers and creative midfielders. Xavi, Iniesta, Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o were the best supporting cast for whom anyone could ask but this batch isn't far away.
The creativity, pace and precision in a front four comprising Coutinho, Messi, Dembele and Hazard could lead the Blaugrana to their sixth Champions League title.
In Valverde's preferred 4-4-2. Hazard could play as both the left midfielder or the number 10, behind either Messi or Luis Suarez. Messi's style of play has transformed in recent years. He's developed a tendency to drop deep and play through balls. In Hazard and Dembele, he will have two wingers who have the pace to get in behind and the ability and the composure to score or assist.
What about Suarez?
Despite his partnership with Edinson Cavani, he is not the threat defenders feared in 2015. He is still a top striker, no doubt, but on the decline nevertheless. He scored 25 goals last term, but can no longer play every game. His squad role will be reduced, coming in when Valverde needs to play with a target man or someone to hold up the ball.
Hazard will provide healthy competition for places in the squad. Both he and Coutinho are versatile. Combined, their movement ought to confound defenders.
This is a move that makes a lot of sense and certainly a move that I can see happening.