Since arriving at Chelsea in 2012 after a breakout season in France, Eden Hazard has cemented himself as one of the greatest Premier League players of the modern era. The Belgian has been a pivotal player in the Blues’ attack, providing a sense of stability as his surroundings constantly changed.
Managers have come and gone at Stamford Bridge. But despite constant changes in tactics and players around him, Hazard remained the focal point of the Chelsea attack. At 27-years-old, Hazard has long been separated from the player who was a shoe-in for PFA Young Player of the Year every season a few years back.
Hazard has been the go-to case of a successful inverted winger in the Premier League since arriving at Stamford Bridge. His pace, dribbling, wide passing range, and finishing ability down the left wing have terrorised defenders for a number of years now. He’s even started up-front in recent years where other number nines have failed to step up to the plate.
But as Hazard enters his seventh season at Chelsea, how much different are the stats from last season to his debut campaign at Stamford Bridge? Has he shown any signs of improvement or even a dip in form? Let’s take a look:
As a playmaker
When looking at Eden Hazard’s contributions as a playmaker in both of those seasons, what’s most glaring is the difference in the number of assists he contributed.
In 2017/18 he tallied just four assists in 33 appearances, while in his debut season he collated a whopping 11.
Meanwhile, the percentage of passes he completed was also higher in his debut season. In 2012/13 he tallied 85%, narrowly edging out the 83% he managed last season.
However, in chances created and key passes he made, last season’s statistics were better by a sizeable margin.
A created 77 chances in 2017/18 and made 73 key passes that season. Meanwhile, he created 65 chances in 2012/13 and completed 54 key passes.
As a finisher
As a finisher, his abilities since moving to Stamford Bridge have come leaps and bounds.
12 goals this season during a chaotic spelll behind the scenes at the club is not bad going at all. Compared to the nine he scored in his debut year, it’s clear that this was an area of his game he’s been practicing.
Granted, there’s not much in it in terms of total shots between last season and 2012/13, but his accuracy in those shots have improved drastically.
Last season he recorded 71% of all shots on target, while in 2012/13 he finished on just 60%.
While Eden Hazard arrived at Stamford Bridge as a play-making winger who was capable of scoring the odd goal, now the Belgian has transformed into one of the most clinical wide-men on the planet.
His performances in front of goal have drawn the attention of the likes of Real Madrid, who seem keen on signing Hazard.
The 27-year-old’s transition in his style of play certainly sets him up for the latter stages of his career. Similarly to Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard’s finishing ability rivals most strikers.
Maurizio Sarri would be silly to not build his side around Hazard for the coming season. He’s exactly the kind of player you’d want to accommodate if you’re looking to keep hold of him.