With the sale of Romelu Lukaku and Thibaut Courtois being integrated into the Chelsea first team, the number of our Belgian loanees running around the continent has taken a significant hit. But Thorgan Hazard -- whom In Bed With Maradona recently profiled -- is still kicking, and having made a move up to the Bundesliga with Borussia Mönchengladbach he's inching closer and closer to being Premier League standard.
But Hazard the younger is still some way off the level required to make the senior squad, and at 21 you might expect him to be a little frustrated. Fortunately, he seems to be taking everything in stride:
I arrived at Chelsea at just 18 years old from the French second division. So I was always aware that I would not play there at first, but be loaned. Chelsea's policy is to secure the rights of young talents early and then loan them out, so that the players can mature. This was not unlike with Romelu Lukaku, Kevin De Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois. I wanted it too in this way and not any other way.
Source: Bundesliga.de via Inside Futbol.
Although many like to slate Chelsea for the fact that most prospects and loanees will never become stars at the club, one of the most important things to remember about the process is that it's much easier for players to find their level if they have the option of trying out many different leagues as they develop. At 21, Thorgan Hazard is already an occasional difference-maker in the Bundesliga, which is a huge step up from where he was pre-Chelsea. Even if he doesn't make it to his brother's level, that's still a good career move.