Eden Hazard, a player that once lit up the Premier League. But why is he not performing? We look at the stats behind his decline.
Arguably the player that guided Chelsea to the Premier League title, winning both PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards in the process, this season was set up to be an even better one for the Belgian.
There was talk about him behind as good as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, if not as good as them in the past two years. Hazard was certainly up there and taking the Premier League by storm.
Yes Chelsea are in the bottom half and yes there has been talk of Fabregas not wanting to win for Mourinho, but the big players are not performing. But where has it all gone wrong for Hazard?
Compared to last season the stats make him look like a completely different player, as you can see from his in game stats:
They certainly show he’s a shadow of his not so distant former self. He has played 876 minutes so far this season, only recording 9 shots, no goals with only 2 assists. Poor for a player who was named as the ‘assist king’ last year eh?
Yes it does take a whole team performance but will Hazard be moving away from Stamford Bridge anytime soon? He was known for his fantastic home performances last season but this time round it’s a monumental dip in form.
The 24-year-old is among several of Jose Mourinho’s players struggling for form this term, but Neville says the criticism is entirely justified given his praise he received last campaign:
He said on Monday Night Football:
“I can’t think of one Chelsea player playing well. As a player you have a responsibility to meet your standard. These players six months ago, we talked about dominating English football.
“I mentioned three or four months ago, that he [Hazard] was heading towards becoming on the best players in the world.
“Of course the best players have dips, but even when they have dips they contribute to the team, they score goals, provide assists.
“You have to question his mentality, he’s a nice kid, but is he really a killer? You think about Messi and you think of Ronaldo – I think he’s got to answer that question now.
Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard says Hazard’s current form and criticism will be alien to him, but insists a rest may not solve all of the problems:
“I love Eden Hazard as a player, I was fortunate enough to play with him, his ability is frightening,” said Lampard during an appearance on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.
“I think we forget he’s a young boy, he’s come onto the scene these last couple of years, he’s never had a moment like this in his career.
“He’s never had to worry. He’s generally played very well, last year he was creating all season, and was the difference for Chelsea to a big extent.”
Hazard has played 11 games more for club and country than any other Premier League players since August 2012, representing Chelsea and Belgium 213 times. Four other Chelsea players – Branislav Ivanovic, Oscar, Gary Cahill and Ramires – make up the top seven.
Chelsea take on Stoke this weekend but can Hazard turn his form around?