May 13, 2012
Cryptic quotations, and ambiguous comments on his Twitter page; you get the sense that Eden Hazard is quite enjoying being the centre of attention.
He’s leaving Lille, we know that much, and he’s probably heading for England – but where?
Heading to the blue half of Manchester is now an easier decision than ever before. Roberto Mancini’s side are no longer just a rich understudy, by 5pm today they’ll be English Champions. For Hazard, get an extremely lucrative contract whilst not being tarnished with ‘mercenary’ tag represents the best of both worlds – like other notable players, he’s now able to make a credible argument that he’s making the switch for ‘footballing reasons’.
Hazard, by definition, is an attacking midfielder by trade, rather than an out-and-out forward. Given that City don’t really play with traditional wingers, the competition infield for his role is particularly fierce. For someone that’s used to being the focal point at Lille, that might be a tough transition – there are no guarantees that should he move to the Etihad, that he’ll be playing every week.
Because it’s Manchester United, and as long as Sir Alex Ferguson is the manager at Old Trafford, the club has an allure about it that players find difficult to resist. United’s thin and misfiring midfield would also ensure Hazard a game too.
Wages and transfer fee. Lille are going to want a King’s Ransom for their biggest asset, and the much-publicised financial restraints at United may stop them going north of the £20m-£25m range, which probably won’t be enough tempt the French club.
Additionally, for all that allure that United have, they’re not a particularly talented team anymore – if Hazard joined City, he could be sure that he be part of a squad that would continually be competitive in the Champions League as well as domestically. That’s not an assurance that United can make anymore.
Although the remarks were given rather flippantly, Hazard seems rather enamoured with the way Spurs play football – and obviously feels that he would fit in with their attacking sensibilities.
The references he’s made to North London now seem a long time ago, and happened before both Manchester clubs registered their interest – realistically, nobody wanted by United or City is turning them down in favour of an annual battle just to qualify for the Champions League.
And, of course, all the financial reasons. Will Daniel Levy sanction a big ticket purchase for a player who, arguably, isn’t better than anything the club already have.
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