Eight days can seem like forever, especially when Eden Hazard is involved. The Belgium international finally announced his decision to join Chelsea last week, over a week after he was initially expected to reveal his choice of team next season. The £32m deal with the Blues was finalised earlier this week and he becomes the second signing for the club this summer, after Marko Marin arrived from Werder Bremen.
In Hazard, Chelsea are obtaining a player who can, to put it simply, create something out of nothing. Lightning pace, comfortable on the wing or in behind the front-man, a sharp eye for goal and the ability to thread a ball to exceptional accuracy, the young schemer is exactly the player the Blues need to re-stamp their dominance on English football.
With Didier Drogba gone, the prodigious star can help ease the burden on the remaining front-men at the club. Ending last season with 22 goals for former club Lille to help them secure Champions League football next year, Hazard can also bring a substantial amount of assists to his repertoire, culminating in 16 for the Ligue 1 side.
Blues fans will be hoping he can bring similar performances to the Premier League and whilst it may take time for him to fully adjust, there is a aura of confidence in those that have seen him up close that he can make the transition from French to English football. In short, Hazard will certainly be a difficult player for Les Dogues to replace, but with Chelsea losing the seemingly irreplaceable Drogba this summer, the youngster will go a long way to filling that gargantuan sized void that the Ivorian will leave at Stamford Bridge.
Vilanova needs to strengthen
After a four-year trophy laden stint as Barcelona manager, the time has come for Pep Guardiola to stand down from his role at the Catalan giants. Amassing an impressive 15 pieces of silverware, including the Champions League twice, the former Barca midfielder will go down in the history books as one of the greatest in the game.
His replacement was announced on the same day that Guardiola announced his intention to leave his position with Blaugrana and came in the form of assistant Tito Vilanova. The 42-year-old has a lot to live up to if he is to match the accolades his former employer picked up during his stint with the club. However, with the backing of prized asset Lionel Messi, it isn’t as though he hasn’t lost the dressing room as a result.
Nevertheless, there are three key Daftar Bola88 areas that need to be bolstered this summer – centre-back, left-back and up front. With Jordi Alba expected to arrive after the upcoming European Championships, it leaves just two more positions to strengthen. In the heart of the defence, Thiago Silva of AC Milan had been mooted as a potential arrival, although that has since been rejected by Barcelona.
Chelsea’s David Luiz has also been linked with a move, whilst there is always the chance to raid the B team if worst comes to worst. On the front-line, an out and out striker is needed. David Villa hasn’t lived up to initial expectations and with the Spaniard suffering a broken leg over Christmas, he is unlikely to return the player he once was. Robin van Persie and Fernando Llorente, of Arsenal and Athletic Bilbao respectively, are just two front-men that could do the job for Barca, but it is obvious that if they want to reclaim their domestic crown from rivals Real Madrid, Vilanova needs to invest this summer.