The best of Eden
Inside Blue Mon 4 Jun 2018
Today marks six years since Eden Hazard made the move to Stamford Bridge – and it’s fair to say the Belgian hasn’t looked back since...
The 27-year-old was one of Europe’s most coveted players while at Lille, where he had started his career in show-stopping fashion by leading the club to major honours and earning personal accolades of his own, and on 4 June 2012 he announced that west London would be his next destination.
As the following statistics show, it has been a move which has worked out pretty well for both the club and Hazard himself...
When he started his most recent match for Chelsea in the FA Cup final, Hazard became only the sixth overseas player to appear in 300 games for the Blues, joining Gianfranco Zola, John Mikel Obi, Branislav Ivanovic, Didier Drogba and Petr Cech in that elite group. The milestone is all the more remarkable for the fact it has taken him only six seasons to reach it, which means he averages 50 matches per campaign.
In his time with Chelsea we have won honours at home and abroad. Hazard’s first trophy was the Europa League in 2013, although he missed the final through injury, and that was followed by the League Cup and Premier League in 2015 and another league title 12 months ago. Of course, Hazard’s most recent silverware came in May when he lifted the FA Cup for the first time.
The Blue No10 averages better than one individual honour per season at the club. He is one of only two men to have been named Chelsea Player of the Year as voted for by the supporters, along with Frank Lampard. In two of the seasons (2014/15 and 2016/17) the Belgian helped us to the Premier League title, with the first of those triumphs accompanied by five high-profile individual prizes – including the PFA and FWA Player of the Year awards. He has also previously won the PFA’s Young Player of the Year honour and been selected in the Team of the Year on four occasions.
There have been a consistent stream of goals coming from Hazard during his time at Chelsea, with his tally reaching 89 by the end of the season. His best contribution in a single campaign was in 2014/15, when he netted 19 times, and he has scored exactly 17 in three of his seasons with the club, including last time out. In fact, only once has he failed to hit double figures in a single campaign.
Of his 69 Premier League goals for Chelsea, 48 have come with his right foot, 17 with his left and only four with his head. His accuracy is particularly commendable, as he hits the target with 44 per cent of his shots in the English top flight.
On the spot
Hazard scored four penalties this season, taking him up to second in our all-time list after surpassing Peter Sillett and Dennis Wise on 21. Although he has some way to go to catch the leader, Frank Lampard, on 49, Hazard boasts an excellent conversion rate, having netted 21 of 26 penalties for the Blues.
Of course, the most recent of those penalties was in the FA Cup final, when he sent David de Gea the wrong way to net the only goal of the game. That was the second time one of his goals had directly won the Blues a trophy, after he netted the Premier League-clinching goal against Crystal Palace in 2015, and he was also responsible for deciding the destination of that particular honour a year later after his fabulous equaliser against Spurs earned us a point which ensured Leicester City would be champions.
Two of Hazard’s Chelsea appearance milestones have now come in Wembley victories for the Blues, as he followed up his 150th match against Tottenham in the 2015 League Cup final with an FA Cup triumph over Manchester United for appearance number 300 last month.