Graeme Sounness believes the time is right, and Eden Hazard needs to move on to the next stage of his career by joining Spanish side Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard, has been Chelsea’s turning point for several seasons, and while the Belgian has revealed he will only be making a decision on his future at the end of the season. Graeme Sounness says he’s ripe to pluck and should be heading for the Los Blancos, where his footballing idol Zinedine Zidane is back in charge.
In a column for the Sunday Times, Sounness wrote: “Eden needs the fresh challenge of moving to Real Madrid this summer.
“I know Chelsea’s fans won’t thank me for saying so and we’ll all miss watching the player who’s probably been the best in the Premier League over the past three or four seasons, but there’s more to come from Hazard and it’s now or never for him to prove that.
“He needs to be extended and pushed because he’s capable of going to another level, where he scores 30-plus goals a season.”
Sounness knows it’s a big blow for Chelsea, but believes Eden Hazard needs a new challenge somewhere away from the Stamford bridge.
“Where will Chelsea be without him? To lose him would be a huge blow because he’s their one outstanding talent.
“The word is he’s a really good lad, but he can be accused of getting in his armchair a bit during games and drifting out of them. That’s why it’s now or never.
“He needs to be in a more challenging environment. He has been fabulous for Chelsea but needs to be pushed, by himself or the environment he’s in, to go to the next level.
“Moving to Real Madrid can bring that out of him.”
On Chelsea’s transfer ban, and lack of adventure in the transfer window, Sounness said: “Chelsea are treading water.
“Whereas for the past 15 years they have been one of the biggest clubs in terms of exciting transfers and things going on.
“They’ve dropped out of that group who make the headlines in every transfer window.
“From the outside looking in, it appears Abramovich feels he’s been mistreated by our government after being denied a visa last summer and is taking his ball home with him in response.
“It feels like the end of an era for Chelsea.”