Chelsea have this morning released a statement, detailing precisely why Eden Hazard was deserving of a place in the PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
van Dijk & Aguero in, Salah out
The English top-flight’s finest XI over the course of the campaign to this point was revealed earlier today.
The team, as voted for by players plying their trade in the Premier League, is unsurprisingly dominated by stars from Manchester City and Liverpool, in the midst of the historic title race currently taking place between the sides.
Pep Guardiola’s Citizens just edge out Liverpool, with 6 selections to the Reds’ 4.
Ederson, Aymeric Laporte, Fernandinho, Bernardo Silva, Raheem Sterling and Sergio Aguero all feature from City, with Trent Alexander-Arnold, expected Player of the Year Virgil Van Dijk, Andy Robertson and Sadio Mane representing Liverpool.
Manchester United midfielder is the final (and somewhat controversial) inclusion:
View this post on Instagram
The PFA Premier League Team of the Year! . Ederson Moraes – Manchester City Trent Alexander-Arnold – Liverpool Virgil van Dijk – Liverpool Aymeric Laporte – Manchester City Andrew Robertson – Liverpool Paul Pogba – Manchester United Fernandinho – Manchester City Bernardo Silva – Manchester City Sergio Aguero – Manchester City Raheem Sterling – Manchester City Sadio Mané – Liverpool . . . #PFAawards #TOTY #PFA #MCFC #LFC #MUFC #EPL #PL #premierleague
Chelsea bite back
As such, of the players to have missed out on a spot in the Team of the Year, the likes of Alisson and current Player of the Year holder Mohamed Salah will no doubt be feeling slightly aggrieved.
However, no individual will have felt more hard done-by based on his omission than Eden Hazard.
Chelsea standout Hazard has enjoyed a scintillating campaign to date, having directly contributed to more goals than any other Premier League player, including just under half of his side’s total strikes.
And the Belgian’s absence from this morning’s star-studded XI has since elicited a response on the part of his club, who have released an official statement, outlining exactly why their star man was so hard done-by on the part of his peers:
‘Our no.10 is enjoying an outstanding season full of eye-catching moments and his non-selection is being widely described as a surprise omission. Certainly his headline statistics from the current season cannot have counted against him when the votes were cast.’
The statement continues:
‘Hazard is enjoying his best Premier League campaign to date when it comes to goals and assists combined, and indeed he tops the table for that total across the all the players at all 20 clubs.’
‘One more goal in the remaining three matches and he will have surpassed his 16 scored in the league in 2016/17. His 13 assists is already two greater than his best previous Premier League tally, which came in his first season here in 2012/13.’
Hazard’s stellar stats
Hazard in the Premier League 18/19:
29 G/A (Most)
16 goals (joint 4th)
13 assists (Most)
13 MOTMs (Most)
122 dribbles (Most)
89 chances created (2nd)
• Most points won with G/A: 23
• Bigger % contribution in team’s goals: 49%
— Hazard Stuff (@HazardStuff_) April 24, 2019