Paul Merson has claimed that Chelsea would not miss the chance to bring back former star Eden Hazard to Stamford Bridge if they are presented with the opportunity.
The Belgian had a dazzling seven-year spell at the club. He won seven major silverware, including two Premier League trophies and two Europa League cups. He also won the PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 2014 and PFA Fans’ Player of the Year in 2018. The 30-year-old was a fan-favourite among the Chelsea fans.
He made a switch to Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 for £100 million. But he has struggled with several injuries since leaving London for Madrid. In his two seasons at the club, he has only managed to play 25 league games, scoring three times in the process. His dip in performance is evident by his career-low WhoScored rating of 6.83.
A reunion with his former employees is on the card, as Real Madrid play Chelsea in the Champions League semi-final. It’s unclear whether Hazard will play. But he recently returned to full training after his latest injury.
Merson on Chelsea re-signing Hazard:
Paul Merson, who is a Chelsea-supporting pundit, has said that if Hazard is available, Chelsea would take him in a heartbeat. Merson believes that Hazard’s big move to Madrid has failed and if there is any chance, the Blues should take him back.
Speaking to the Daily Star, Merson spoke of Hazard:
“I’d be surprised if he plays when they meet Real Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals. He’s hardly played all season. And why would you change the team that beat Liverpool so comfortably? The wingers were both electric. If Hazard ever gets back to the form he was at Chelsea, he can cause havoc. But I just don’t see it.
Sometimes you need to start well, when you make a big move and he didn’t. And it’s all gone downhill for him. But Chelsea would take him back. No doubt, Before left, he was on a different planet. It’s sad to see him not doing it in Madrid. But they brought him in to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s goals and he was never going to do that. You wish Chelsea had a clause where they could take him back because you would do that all day long to see him back in the Premier League.”
12th Man Times take:
There is no doubting Hazard’s ability. He was unplayable at times in the Premier League. He almost carried Chelsea to the Europa League glory in his last season at the club. But to bring him back to Stamford Bridge is a huge risk.
Chelsea have a plethora of attacking talents at their disposal. Some players like Kai Havertz, Callum Hudson-Odoi, and Tammy Abraham barely get any playing time, such as the depth in their attack. Also, the rise of Mason Mount this season. The Englishman plays a similar role to what Hazard played at Chelsea and has been their standout player this season.
And Hazard’s injury troubles are not due to the change in surrounding in Madrid. He had injury niggles in the Premier League as well, but not too a long extent. There is no assurance that he won’t have injury problems if he re-joins Chelsea.
Hazard is also on huge wages, earning upwards of £400,000-a-week. And given his contract at Real, which runs until 2024, he won’t come cheap as well. As much as Chelsea fans would love to take him back, it is highly unlikely that he would return.