With still 7 weeks to go for the end of another long & hard campaign, some might say the Premier League title race is all but over. But as they say, it’s not over until the final whistle, ask Man United fans!
Whatever be the result, as for now, no can argue that Chelsea have been the best side over the last seven-plus months of this season. However, this time of the season also brings with itself individual accolades that are doled out to some of the best players in this league. With the Capital One Cup already occupying the shelves at Stamford Bridge and with one hand on the Premier League title, the players themselves look all set to bring in more trophies to the club by bagging some of the individual awards.
The biggest of them all is obviously the PFA ‘Player Of The Year’ award. This award is for the player who hasn’t just shown flashes of brilliance, but someone who also has relentlessly fought and won matches for his team. It is more about sustaining those performances over this marathon of a season. Although a plethora of names like David De Gea, Alexis Sanchez, Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa & more recently Harry Kane seem to be in the race, there is one guy who leads the pack; Eden Hazard.
There cannot be a shortlist without Hazard on the list. The Belgian carried on from he left season and has contributed continuously throughout the 31 games. Ivanovic, Matic, Costa and Fabregas have spearheaded victories many a times, but they have also had their dry spells. Eden Hazard though, has never given up.
Stats don’t lie. Having contributed 12 times by scoring himself and 8 times by assisting others, he has been directly involved in 20 goals. What more?
Here is how Hazard ranks as compared to his Premier League counterparts:
- 1st- Most Chances created
- 1st- Most Dribbles completed
- 1st- Been fouled most times
- 1st- Most Key passes from open play
- 1st- Completed most passes in the final third
- 1st- Won possession in the final third most times
- 7th- Goals+Assists
Looking at the stats above it is a no-brainer that Hazard should be running away with the trophy this season. One of the rare qualities that Hazard has is his righteous attitude towards the game. For a guy as agile and nimble-footed as him, it is easy to get fouled. Moreover, it has been seen that for someone bearing a superstar status allows them to crib about a challenge and sometimes even influence the officials through simulation.
But this guy, just gets up and starts running behind the ball right away. No airs of a superstar, he toils along like any other player. Jose Mourinho criticized Hazard for his defensive work-rate last season and this season, he has taken it up to improve that aspect of his game as well.
Back in 2012, Roman Abramovich did all in his powers to secure this Belgian wonderkid’s services. Looking back on it now, this boy hasn’t let the boss down one bit. Eden Hazard has come a long way since his Lille days. Having won six individual prizes over the past six seasons, Hazard is the clear favourite to claim his 1st PFA Player of the year trophy.
He is well on course to be one of the world’s very best players. It won’t be long before his name will be mentioned alongside the likes of Messi, Ribery, Robben & Ronaldo. But for now his name on the PFA trophy looks almost certain.
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Edited By: Harshal Ahire