By Harry Sykes
Eden Hazard has revealed that he will quit Chelsea – when they next win the Premier League.
The Belgian superstar was linked with leaving Stamford Bridge last season during a campaign that was an unmitigated disaster for player and club.
The 2014-15 PFA player of the year was the driving force behind the team that won the title under Jose Mourinho two seasons ago.
Hazard is now back to the form that made him one of Europe’s most exciting attacking players and shared the conversations he had with manager Antonio Conte about his future.
“Back in March I’d spoken [to Conte] about the difficult season I’d had up to then,” Hazard said, as quoted by the Sun.
“I made clear I had no intention of leaving after such a poor year. I didn’t want to go out like that. If I ever leave, it’ll be after winning a championship.
“You need to go out on a high so that people remember you for the right reasons.”
Hazard has scored seven goals and supplied one assist in 11 Premier League matches this season to put him behind only teammate Diego Costa in the leading scorers chart.
By contrast, the Belgium international scored just four league goals in the entirety of last season, with his total tally of six goals and eight assists from 43 matches in all competitions falling some way short of expectations.
Football Insider verdict:
Hazard is correct when he says he could not have left Chelsea after his miserable 2015-16 campaign. What he fails to mention is that none of Europe’s superpowers would have been willing to pay the kind of transfer fee that the London club would have demanded. Not on the back of a campaign in which his wretched form almost precisely mirrored that of the team who produced the worst title defence in living memory. Hazard is a player of consummate gifts, including pace, balance, technique and great dribbling ability. But he must perform consistently, week after week, season after season, to be mentioned in the same breath as the world’s elite players such as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and Gareth Bale.
In other Chelsea news, this is the team that Antonio Conte is expected to field in Sunday’s clash against Middlesbrough.