Eden Hazard’s departure to Real Madrid has been made official and one thing is as clear as day: Chelsea have to move on and find a way to fill the Belgian superstar’s void that was left behind.
According to the Daily Mail, Leon Bailey is being considered as a player who could step up in Hazard’s absence. But as good and talented as Bailey might be, he is still quite a big step down from the Premier League’s greatest player in recent years. So, here are two main reasons why Bailey will struggle to fill Hazard’s void at Chelsea and ultimately find himself forever stuck in his predecessor’s almighty shadow…
Bailey is no Hazard
This is a rather glaring one – Bailey is talented and skilful, for sure, but he’s no Hazard. Granted, rarely anyone is as the Belgian superstar is quite a unique entity but Chelsea should aim much higher and bigger if they want to minimise the impact of Hazard’s departure.
The same source also claims that Bayer will ask for a reported fee of £80m, which is a rather hefty sum for a mostly unproven 21-year-old.
His five goals and one assist in the Bundesliga last season is also hardly comparable to Hazard’s 16 goals and 15 assists, which even further proves the point of him not really being anywhere close to the Belgian talisman’s standards.
If the Blues are really going to splash the cash on someone this summer, it stands to reason that they expect a certain level of quality in return. Bailey might have it in the future but he’s a far too luxurious gamble for a team that needs to replace someone as huge as Hazard.
Check out a fan’s outrageous call for England to take a leaf of out cricket and rugby’s book after a limp Nations League performance in the video below…
Huge shoulders & big personality needed
There are not too many players that have left such an impact on Stamford Bridge as Hazard has. Sure, legends like Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry are pretty much untouchable in this regard, but Hazard has been the heart and soul of this team for years back now. He was the talisman, the unrelenting spiritual entity.
If he is truly to be replaced by someone, it has to be a player of both the quality and the charisma to match that legacy. Bailey will struggle to match him in the former aspect, as we have established above, but could also, not necessarily by his own fault, fall flat in the latter one as well.
This works against whoever is brought to try and compensate for Hazard’s absence and everyone will most likely struggle to win over the hearts of both the fans and the players. For that exact reason, it has to be someone who is big enough to shoulder that responsibility and really help bring the club and the dressing room together through their personality.
Bringing a 21-year-old to do that job is hardly the right way to go for the Blues.