By Tim Harrison
Just how much Chelsea will miss their pocket-sized marvel Eden Hazard when he ups and leaves for Madrid in June was clear for all to see on Monday, as he scored April’s goal of the month.
Nothing is likely to better the jinking run he made through the West Ham defence in the 24th minute, weaving past five defenders, evading a flying tackle and placing the ball perfectly past Lucasz Fabianski.
Will he be able to repeat the feat at Anfield on Sunday when, after returning from their Europa outing to Prague, the Blues face Liverpool?
Mo Salah, sitting at the top of the Premier League goalscorers’ table with 18, now has the little Belgian wizard two behind him, having leapfrogged Jamie Vardy and Raheem Sterling in a single night of supremacy at the Bridge. His second, in the final minute, was also effortlessly divine.
Waiting in the wings, and quietly observing the maestro’s skills, are Callum Hudson-Odoi (granted his second league start in a row on Monday evening against a lacklustre West Ham side that simply couldn’t get enough of the ball to conjure up anything worthwhile), and Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
The cream of Chelsea’s double-barrelled youngsters, they are learning by observing and playing alongside this exceptional talent.
In 20 years, when they look back on their footballing careers, they’ll acknowledge Hazard as the most important influence on their early days. He’s in a class of his own.
The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and unless specifically stated are not necessarily those of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
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