When Jose Mourinho took over at Chelsea ahead of the 2004/05 season, he began assembling a squad which was one of the best in Europe for the better part of the next decade. That core went on to win three Premier League titles and a Champions League, as well as a handful of other competitions along the way.
Mourinho's second coming looks a bit like the first,in that the manager is locking up a squad full of talent yet to reach their best years, who could form another elite core of talent for the future. He had the following to say on Wednesday about the group:
"You look at the age of the players... Drogba and John over 30. After that, below 30. Ivanovic is at that limit. All the other guys are very young. If they're happy to be here, like Oscar is showing with a new contract, like Eden is showing: he will sign a new contract sooner or later. They can basically be the Chelsea team for the next few years."
With guys like Oscar, Thibaut Courtois, Cesc Fabregas, Diegoa Costa, and Cesar Azpilicuata already under long-term contracts, it's hard not to be excited for the future. Adding Hazard to the mix of players locked up through the prime years of their career would be fantastic news, and from Mourinho's comments today, it sounds as if it's just a matter of time.