Chelsea provided with Eden Hazard transfer gift before winger’s early retirement
Eden Hazard announced on social media that injury problems have prompted him to ‘listen to his body’ and retire.
Eden Hazard is still an adored figure at Stamford Bridge, and the ex-Chelsea star ensured that he provided his former club with a parting gift before hanging up his boots. The winger announced his retirement on Tuesday, just weeks after helping the Blues secure the signature of Romeo Lavia from Southampton.
I was able to realise my dream, I have played and had fun on many pitches around the world. During my career, I was lucky to meet great managers, coaches and team-mates – thank you to everyone for these great times, I will miss you all.”
Support poured in for Hazard, especially from Chelsea supporters – thankful for the role he played in helping the club win the Premier League title twice. Though the ex-Lille star may have helped the club in the future too, as he played a key role in recommending that Lavia joined the Blues over the summer –.
Chelsea’s director of recruitment Joe Shields, who worked with Lavia at Southampton and Manchester City, was the driving force behind Chelsea’s pursuit of the midfielder and conducted the majority of the groundwork for the move over the course of last season. However, the 19-year-old also spoke with Hazard about the Blues prior to making his £58million move to the club, in turn, rejecting a move to Liverpool.
Before the World Cup, Lavia spoke with his Belgium international team-mate about his experience at Chelsea and Hazard went on to actively encourage the teenager to take the chance to join the club if the opportunity arrived – as it did.
In footage shared on social media unveiling Lavia as the Blues’ new No. 45, Hazard is heard asking: “Are you a blue now or what?” Lavia then replied, “I’m getting to know your old place,” before explaining that the pressure of being a Belgian at Chelsea carries immense pressure due to Hazard’s legacy at the club.
Lavia has not featured for Mauricio Pochettino’s side due to injury, but the potential he showed at Southampton – as well as his significant price tag – indicates that he will have a key role to play for the club in both the short and long term. And Hazard will be hopeful that his parting gift will do him proud at his former side.