Eden Hazard is one thing away from being an elite player

Eden Hazard is a truly wonderful footballer and there’s really no debating that. The Belgian can do some truly wonderful things on the pitch, but in the grand scheme of things he really doesn’t have the consistency necessary to be considered one of the best in the world.

Now it’s easy to say this when you have players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi performing week in and week out, but even when you take them out of the equation it’s hard to place little old Eden at the top of that tree.

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Let’s just think about it for a second. Since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2012, the 25-year-old has gone back and forth between having a great season and a wank season. Over the years, he has disappeared more than Houdini and after that happens a certain amount of times, you need to start asking the big questions.

There is absolutely no doubting his ability. The bloke could run rings round Speedy Gonzalez with a blindfold on his day, but that’s the problem – ‘his day’ doesn’t come often enough. It’s beyond frustrating for Belgium and Chelsea fans especially given some of the stages he’s been on.

It’s not like he has the excuse of the players surrounding him either. For both the Blues and the Red Devils he has had domestic and international support around him of the highest level. He was regarded as one of Belgium’s shining lights in the last few tournaments they’ve been in, and he failed to rise to the occasion worse than Pele on a trip to Amsterdam.

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Things are starting to progressively look up and as he gains more experience the Belgian may grow into that consistent mentality, but he could also lose all the things that make the attacking midfielder so talented.

Back in 2014/15 he was crowned the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and it was truly the most well deserved accolade of the season. There’s no doubting his ability or talent, but as has been reiterated over and over things went sour the next year with just six goals in 43 appearances. Now, sure, the whole Chelsea side flopped hard, but Eden should’ve been the man to lead them forward by example – and he failed miserably.

This year he looks back to his best with seven goals in 14 appearances, but the question remains as to just how long that will last.

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Perhaps Hazard’s work ethic isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s certainly been a contested issue over the years and doing everything you can to ensure the success of your team is what transforms someone from “ah not bad into “holy shitballs he is utterly unplayable”.

Being skilful is one thing, but having that special trait of being able to win the games that matter is something that not many players possess – and even further maintain both attributes.

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