Eden Hazard is playing some of his best football in a long while at the moment, and there is this popular consensus that it could probably be the best campaign of his career so far.
Following his first strike out of the brace he bagged against Everton, it was the first time the 25-year-old had scored in 4 Premier League games on the bounce. And with the blistering form he has produced in front of goal having scored 7 already, there might not be stopping Hazard from running riot till the season ends.
Here are reasons why 2016-17 could be Eden Hazard’s best tenure in a Chelsea shirt.
The stats speak volume
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) November 10, 2016
Since making his full-season debut at Lille in 2009-10, his figures at the end of every season have varied. Comparing his best seasons with the current, Hazard is on course to break his own personal best records.
Since arriving at Chelsea, his highest league goals in a single season peaked at 14, and that has happened twice, in 13/14 and 14/15. He recorded 7 and 9 assists respectively.
His league best thus far in front of goal, however, came in his last season in Ligue 1. In the 11/12 season, Hazard bagged 20 goals and 16 assists for Lille. This term, with just about one-fifth of the league played, the Belgian international is averaging 0.6 goals per game. If this fine form continues – a very high possibility, then his least return would be 22 goals at the end of the season.
16/17 isn’t only looking certain to be his best since arriving England 4 seasons ago, it could as well be his best ever.
He is playing a free position
From Messi to Ronaldo, the best players on the planet have excelled and hit their peak when they occupied a free role on the pitch.
Since switching to a 3-4-3 formation, the freedom given to Hazard to roam around in the final third has seen him play further upfront than Costa most of the time, which is yielding results, and the numbers are there to see.
His 3.1 shots per game is his best so far, with his closest in Chelsea being 2.1 while he averaged 2.8 in his last season with Lille.
Not being saddled with much defensive work whenever he is not on the ball is also paying great dividends, as the forward is having enough room to express his creative self.
Only in 14/15 did he average more dribbles per game (4.8) than he is doing now (4.1), and there is the feeling that the number will improve as the season grows. Same can be said of his current average passes per game (50.0), pass accuracy (84.9%) and key passes per game (1.8).
This beast Conte is making is poised to get better every other game.
He is motivated to overcome his slump and prove people wrong
Last season was far more than disappointing for Hazard, and one of the reasons he chose to remain at Chelsea was to right those wrongs and disappointments this season.
And the fact that he is motivated to do exactly so makes it more possible and feasible for him. He is giving his best and having a good time at doing it.
His best this term will most probably be his best ever. His progress reports point to that possibility. And it won’t be utterly surprising if this tenure turns out not only to be Eden Hazard’s best ever in the Blues Jersey, but also his best ever to date.