Everyone knows Chelsea is a club that gets under the skin of opposing fans. Imagine for a moment that you have to part with something from your childhood that you once treasured. Perhaps it was something you'd grown out of or thought you no longer needed, or perhaps you simply needed the money.
However, the passage of time has left you with a sense of nostalgia for the aforementioned revered item. You can't believe your luck when you come across it for sale one day in an old flea market, second-hand shop, or, more likely in these digital times, an internet auction site. It goes without saying that you immediately buy it back.
You probably know where this is going by now; after all, you read the title. When it comes to players like Eden Hazard, cost implications, performance potential, xG, xA, or his proclivity for injury and his xI (for those who don't know) don't matter. As a Chelsea fan, the prospect of seeing the diminutive Belgian return to the club is tantalizing. Hazard was a standout performer for the Blues this season. However, it hasn't worked out for him at Real Madrid, which may be disappointing for him personally but not for Chelsea fans.
Hazard is without a doubt one of the greatest Blues players of all time. He left the club after the Europa League final victory over Arsenal in 2019 and has since played in La Liga. His desire to play for Los Blancos under Zinedine Zidane outweighed his desire to stay in SW6. However, the allure of Chelsea Football Club is strong for those who have excelled and understood what it means to be a blue. Hazard fits right in, as snug as his lion-crested shirt.
Of course, there will be debates about whether it is worthwhile to bring Hazard home. It goes without saying that the club's owner, Roman Abramovich, is a huge fan.
The return of another former hero, Frank Lampard, polarized the fan base in the same way that Maurizio Sarri did during his brief tenure at the club. Hazard's return will almost certainly reopen that wound. The Belgian's return will undoubtedly be viewed as a step backward by FIFA fans. Meanwhile, supporters will salivate at the prospect.
Could Hazard still play in what is regarded as Europe's most competitive league? Could he fit into Thomas Tuchel's Chelsea team? More importantly, would he improve the current starting lineup? For this writer, the answer to all of those questions is a resounding yes, but then again, Pele was on the cover of FIFA the last time he played it.
There is no doubt that Tuchel's Blues are currently producing the desired results. After all, the club is currently atop the Premier League. The issue is that, while the defense is strong, the attacking players are still struggling to form partnerships. Romelu Lukaku, who relaunched his Chelsea career with great promise, is at the helm of that unit. However, the goals have dwindled, and the goals that do come could come from any position. The Blues require a striker who can score 20 goals per season; Lukaku is undoubtedly that man, but he requires assistance.
What he requires, and this is a simplification, is someone he knows and with whom he already has a pre-existing relationship.
Some will argue that you should never go back or yearn for the long-lost. Chelsea players in the past, on the other hand, have demonstrated time and again that it is a club unlike any other, much like that scrappy first guitar you threw out as a 25-year-old.
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