If Real Madrid or Bayern Munich offer £60million for Eden Hazard in the summer then Chelsea should bite their hands off.
I’d let him go if I were in charge at the Blues, I really would, writes Stan Collymore in the Sunday People.
The Belgian clearly feels he has the ability and mentality to rival Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi , but I don’t think he has.
He’s a very good player in very good teams when everything is going his way.
But the Eden Hazard I saw at Crystal Palace, when he came off with a mysterious injury on a miserable, rainy night, and the one I saw at Leicester, when he went off, then on again, then off again, told me everything I needed to know.
When I was playing we’d say lads like that suffered from Filbert Streetitis, or had a bruised fetlock. They didn’t fancy it when the going got a bit tough.
But if you want to be a Messi, a Ronaldo , a Zlatan Ibrahimovic, even a Thomas Muller or Arjen Robben, then you have to respond to adversity with courage and with heart. Each of those players has dealt with it at some point in their career – and each have come through.
You question Messi or Ronaldo and it only makes them more determined to prove you wrong.
That hasn’t been the case with Hazard this season and I don’t think I have ever seen such a fall from grace in terms of a player scooping all the individual gongs one season and then going missing the next.
I wanted the Belgian this time out to think, ‘Right, last season was the marker and now I’m going to be even better. I will score six or seven more goals and chip in with eight or nine more assists and prove I deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as such illustrious players’.
Instead his form has dropped off a cliff and the player has gone backwards.
Not so long ago, if you really craved a move – and especially a dream move to a Real, a Barcelona, a Bayern – you’d work your socks off and show your suitors you had the talent to be at their club.
But nowadays it seems you don’t have to do that, you just have to get your agent to put it out there.
It’s almost a case of the worse you play, the more chance you have of getting your move, which is why I don’t expect Hazard’s performances to get any better for Chelsea this season.
What caretaker boss Guus Hiddink needs to be saying to Hazard right now is: “Come on, put it in, play well until the end of the season, help the team finish in the top half of the table, and we’ll do everything we can to get you your move”.
The trouble is, he looks like he has left already, that his head is at another club.
Certainly, I don’t think Hazard’s heart is in Chelsea any longer.
He looks as if he feels he is a bigger fish for a bigger pond.
And, as they did with David Luiz, Chelsea should be looking to move him on for a hefty pay day.
Ultimately, though, it is his mentality that will cost Hazard.
Should he get his move to Real I’m convinced he will end up getting eaten up and spat out to a Schalke or a Bayer Leverkusen in two or three years, leaving Chelsea laughing all the way to the bank.