Video Evidence: Eden Hazard (Arsenal)

Over the past three weeks the early season euphoria has subsided for Arsenal fans. Defeats to the two Manchester clubs and a poor performance against Standard Liege have emphasised that Arsenal’s soft centre remains.

Both Diaby and Denilson have frustrated Arsenal supporters with their substandard performances. No doubt Gooners will be appalled to learn that the latest youngster that Wenger is looking at is an 18 year old winger and not an experienced and uncompromising central midfielder.

However, Lille’s Eden Hazard could be the real deal. Arsenal often find it difficult to break down teams that defend in numbers on the edge of their eighteen yard box. Hazard is a player who possesses that “X factor” and has the ability to unlock defences by beating men with either trickery or skill.

The Belgian began his career at Royal Stade Brainois before moving to A.F.C. Tubize where he was spotted by Lille’s scouts, prompting the French side to sign him in 2005. Despite being so young he was quickly promoted to the senior squad for the 2007–08 season, making three appearances.

The following season he turned in some eye catching performances which prompted the club to offer him a three year contract extension. His displays also led to him being crowned the best young player in Ligue 1, surprisingly the first time that a foreign born player has won the award. This season the young winger has made eight appearances and scored two goals, both of which have come in the Europa League.

Hazard’s was dubbed “little Messi” by his former coach Claude Puel, although we believe that if you are to compare him to any footballer his playing style is more reminiscent to that of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Like Messi he is of diminutive stature (he stands at 5 ft 7 inches) which allows him to turn in tight situations away from defenders. He is right footed and is at ease when running with the ball enabling him to beat two or three players on his mazy runs.

He is sure of his ability and will often look for the clever pass rather than giving the ball away by sending in a superfluous cross.

His languid style mirrors that of Ronaldo. His love of step-overs, tricks and flicks comes right out of the galactico’s play book. However, unlike Ronaldo his heading is poor furthermore, it’s of no surprise for someone so young that he has to bulk up and increase his strength, as at times he is easy to shrug off the ball.

Hazard’s contract runs out in 2012, so it maybe that Lille will cash in on him this season to ensure that they receive his full market valuation. There is no shortage of interest in the talented youngster, with Barcelona, Inter Milan, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Manchester United also following his progress.

Lille are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect of a bidding war breaking out. Nevertheless, it is Arsenal who may have the upper hand in any negotiations for the player. Hazard has stated “Real Madrid and Arsenal are the clubs I dreamed of joining as a child…..if I joined Inter or Barcelona and could play football there then that would be very good, but Real and Arsenal are really great and play at a very high technical level.”

With Madrid’s policy of signing players who have fully developed into stars, if Wenger stops pinching the pennies Hazard will be at Arsenal and here at 101gg we believe he has the potential to become a superstar.

Video evidence of Eden hazard can be seen here.