Eden Hazard - Lille - Belgium - Somebody Sign This Kid!
Eden Hazard - Somebody Sign This Kid
Eden Hazard is the most skilled football to burst on the scene since Cristiano Ronaldo. I said it. I did. The Belgian international has the skill to be a competitor in just about any league in the world, and at only 21 he is developing nicely into a world class footballer. He helped guide Lille to the Ligue 1 & Coupe de France title in 2010/2011 and shined scoring 12 league goals and 10 assist in all competitions.
The best attributes about Hazard are his skill, speed & vision. He’s fast. Really, really fast. Really, really, really fast, enough for me to type it five times fast. Not all speed is the same, there is a difference between being fast and being quick. Most wingers and strikers in football are fast, but there’s another level to speed that is more valuable than just blistering speed and Eden Hazard has it: change of pace.
It only takes a split second, one moment of hesitation and winger is behind you. Hazard has a unique ability to combine trickery with change of pace, which could make him one of the most dangerous players in the world at the age of 21. He can lull a defender to sleep before switching to high gear and blowing right by them. There are only 6 other players in the world that I can think of that have this skill: Messi, Ronaldo,Tevez, Suarez, Aguero, Alexi Sanchez. He’s no where near their level yet, but he actually could be.
They combine skill with speed without any time in transition. Hazard doesn’t have to completely stop to perform a step over, he does it at almost full speed. This is a very valuable asset, because this ‘change of pace’ is what gives you that extra yard or two to get by the last man, put in a good cross, or get a shot on target. Hazard has the ability to use quickness to make time and space, creating opportunities for himself and his teammates which can lead to more goals.
Besides quickness and pace, Hazard has one of the best arsenals of skill in the game. It’s yet to be seen whether or not he can execute trickery at the skill level of Messi & Ronaldo in big matches with everyone watching, but the fact that he can perfectly place a reverse cross from 20 yards out is pretty amazing. Jaw dropping. His step overs are perfectly fluid and he has the ability to combine 2 or more skills at the same time to enable him to go by defenders. It’s incredible to watch him take players on. Sure, it’s Ligue 1, but at almost any level a player with this skill would be able to mesmerize a defense. He just has to get tougher, and execute smarter. He’s got incredible technique in just about every aspect of his game, including his ability to shoot the ball. It’s very impressive, and he seems to just be getting better. As long as he has the mentality to keep learning, Hazard could go very far.
Some would say the French Ligue 1 or the Dutch Eredivisie are the best leagues for young attacking players. The defenders tend to be weaker than in some of the other better leagues. The valuable experience players learn in Ligue 1 or the Eredivisie enables them players to build confidence & try things in every match that they may not get the chance to in the Premier League or Bundesliga. I believe the Eden Hazard is out there testing himself, trying new things as preparation for his future. That is the best way for him to hone his skills.
He’s young, but Hazard also has great vision. He enjoys the art of picking the pass. He can perform the simple ball threaded in or the cheeky back heel pass. The mark of any great player can usually be summed up in how much their head moves during the course of the game. Great players are always looking for options. They always want to score goals, make assists and create things for their team.
Eden Hazard is only 21, and has expressed his desire to play in England. He has been at Lille since 2005 and has risen through the ranks at the club. But, there comes a time when every player must test himself. It’s one thing to pull off flashy skills and knock in goals in Ligue 1, but it’s another to be continually productive in the Premier League. Either way, this kid has a bright future and will be a name heard in the game for a long time. He’s not the complete footballer yet, he needs to get tougher, he needs to be more accurate with his passing as a midfield player, but that is something yet to come with more experience.
Looking forward to seeing a lot of Eden Hazard for a long time to come.