Why Hazard is fast becoming Chelsea’s biggest problem

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Updated: October 22, 2015

If reports are true, then Eden Hazard has been reprimanded for liking an Instagram post linking him to Real Madrid. Since then rumours have surfaced that he’s confided with international teammates about his desire to move on in the summer. Jose Mourinho will be hoping it is all smoke and mirrors and not his Belgium star fanning the flames.

Before arriving in England Hazard was courted by Manchester City, Manchester United and his eventual employers Chelsea. City and United dropped out of the race when they felt his wage demands were too high. They didn’t see him as the finished article and couldn’t risk overspending on potential. In hindsight it would have been a risk worth taking.

Hazard has developed into one of the finest talents in Europe. He has a valid claim to be the best attacking midfielder in the Premier League that only a few, like David Silva, could challenge. When Jose sold Juan Mata he described him as a luxury player. This usually means players that look good on occasion but you can’t build a team around them. In Hazard he has luxury and foundation. A talent any manager would want in their squad.

The timing of these reports couldn’t be worse for the Portuguese boss. He is under intense scrutiny and unless there is a real turnaround of fortunes it’s conceivable Roman Abramovich will send him packing for the second time in his career. The constantly linked to Manchester City Pep Guardiolia has been mentioned as a possible summer recruit for the Stamford Bridge outfit.

With big names lining up to take Jose’s hot-seat – whether there’s truth in the stories or not – makes his position more difficult. If he lost his best player it would become unbearable. For all of Mourinho’s cries and claims the world is against him, losing Hazard would trigger and inward collapse.

The current dressing room would doubt the gaffer’s ability to lead the team and retain the best talent. His stories of building an empire would rest beneath rubble. There are signs the rot may have already set in on his current reign. Things are certainly not right at the Bridge. If the squad starts to dismantle voluntarily it signals only one thing: Jose Mourinho is doomed.

His best chance of keeping Hazard is to bring in more players in January that have a top level feel about them. This would signal his intent to compete at the highest level and it would also show the chairman still believes in Mourinho.

He also needs to arrest the drop in form of both his side and Hazard as an individual. A happy player is more likely to stay. At the moment he isn’t enjoying his football. This makes it easy to turn his head with offers of playing at the Bernabeu. If Jose can get Eden feeling positive about his game, give him a lift on the pitch, there’s a chance he can fall in love with his Chelsea role once again.

If Jose Mourinho can’t reconnect with Hazard he should start looking for his next job in football.