Recently the press appear to have decided that Eden Hazard would rather go to Real Madrid than to PSG. This pre-supposes that he actually wants to leave Chelsea and go to a weaker league. Strangely, though, most of the best players do!

Luis Suarez chose Barcelona over staying at Liverpool or moving to Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo favoured Real Madrid above Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, rather amazingly is considered world class by some people, has managed to avoid being roughed up in England his entire career, as has Lionel Messi. Neymar is also staying in Spain for the time being although the appointment of Pep Guardiola at Manchester City may change one or two minds.

Hats off then to Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil who have both made the reverse trip to the Premier League from Barcelona and Real Madrid respectively.

Sanchez, in particular, hit the ground running upon his arrival and looks made for the Premier League.

Ozil, after a poor first season where he seemed to be ruing the fact that Manchester United didn’t make the call he wanted, seemed to get over it in time for his second season. He probably managed this by watching a few of United’s games and realising how lucky he had been that United were too stupid to buy him!

These two, however, appear to be the exception to the rule. Most “world class” players tend to be attracted to Spain, France or Germany. The reasons for this have been discussed at length in an article I wrote back in July of last year, which can be read here.

So why do the press think that Hazard wants to leave? He isn’t having a great season, in fact, he isn’t playing well at all which, for the reigning Footballer of the Year, must be disappointing.

A lot of people put this career regression down to Jose Mourinho and the way he was always on Hazard’s back to track back more and work harder for the team. Even when Mourinho was fired it appeared that Hazard may have been one of the mutineers who was culpable in the dismissal.

If all that were true, why then did he text an apology to Mourinho expressing his sorrow at the Portuguese’ departure? Was it an elaborate cover-up to make us all think he was one of the good guys? I doubt that Hazard is that devious!

Whatever his reasons, he probably thinks that the best way to break into the top five “world’s best players” is to go and join the rest of them in Spain. He will certainly score more goals, make more assists and generally see more of the ball.

Assuming that he pitches up at Real Madrid, he will need to be on his game when they play Barcelona and the derby against Atletico. The rest of the season he could probably get through at around 70% and still be better than most of the other players.

If he goes to PSG it will be even easier. Monaco should be challenging but they are not, so Hazard wouldn’t even need to take a fourth gear with him to be a success in that league.

Bayern Munich, as yet, haven’t been linked with Hazard but this would represent a similar move to the one to Real Madrid, where maybe two other teams will offer up a challenge for a while.

It all boils down to what the player wants at the end of the day. If he is recognised as a great player in the Premier League, his record won’t be enhanced by a move to Spain. Becoming greater than great is not possible.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Luis Suarez both stood out in the Premier League because they are great players. They are both finding it easier in Spain and, because of this, are scoring even more goals and breaking even more records. They haven’t become greater players, they are just playing in a league which enables their talents to stand out far more often.

Hazard, it would appear, wants to replicate this for himself. The difference is that he is having a very average season. Ronaldo and Suarez both left after fantastic seasons with Manchester United and Liverpool. In my humble opinion, Hazard needs to stay another year, have a stellar season, then clear off for the easier money.


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