Eden Hazard’s fall from grace has surprised many in the football world, but Belgium coach Marc Wilmots has come out and revealed why he thinks the Chelsea winger has failed to recreate his performances from the previous seasons.
Hazard has arguably had the worst season of his career at Chelsea, failing to score a single goal in his 21 Premier League appearances for the Blues in the 2015/16 calendar. The kind of performances put in by Hazard this season are really surprising, especially after last season, when he scored 14 Premier League goals, earning him the PFA Player of the Year Award.
Wilmots, who says that he has an “interesting” relationship with the 25-year-old, believes that he knows why Hazard has not been performing up to the mark this season.
Wilmots: Injuries have dented Hazard’s performances this season
“I have a very interesting relationship with [Hazard]. He had a phase for four or five years when he did not stop playing at all,” Wilmots was quoted saying on The Times.
“And then a little injury, a little incident, the first time he had been injured, a new experience for him. But I have no doubt he is a player of very high quality. As Chelsea has been doing better, he has been doing better.”
In fact, Hazard has taken part in more than 40 matches every season that he has played football at the professional level. Even this season, the Belgian winger has already made 37 appearances for Chelsea, in spite of the fact that he has been suffering from niggling injuries.
In fact, the only time when he actually played less than 40 matches was during his debut campaign at Lille, which was in fact his first ever season in professional football. He made 53 appearances for his club that season.
Can Hazard rediscover his best form next season?
With so many great performances for club and country, the career graph of Eden Hazard had been on a steep rise before the start of the current campaign. In fact, many predicted that Hazard would break the duopoly of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at the FIFA Ballon d’Or Awards in the coming years.
However, this season has completely derailed that graph, as the Belgian star has struggled to score even a single goal for his club in the Premier League.
According to Wilmots, recurrence of niggling injuries is the main reason why Hazard has been unable to perform this season. It will be interesting to see if Hazard is able to rediscover his best form upon making a full recovery from his injuries. However, there is no reason why Hazard cannot overcome his injury and start playing like he has been over the last four seasons. It will be interesting to see if he can really reach up to the levels of Messi and Ronaldo in the coming years.