We've had several final words now on the Hazard situation, both from club sources and Hazard himself, but these quotes from old wiseman Guus Hiddink really do feel like the final, decisive words. Of course they won't be, because the summer's long and full of tabloid terrors, but I would be very surprised if Hazard isn't wearing Chelsea blue next season (and for many years to come after that).
"It's important that [Hazard] is here next year. He has some more years to go on his contract. And what I do know is that he is very happy with everything at Chelsea, and everything around Chelsea."
"He is very important and if he is fit he will be very important again next season."
On Sunday, Hazard officially vacated his throne as England's Player of the Year, with Leicester City's Riyad Mahrez taking the crown for this season. In his final game as PFA PotY, Hazard put in one of his best performances of the season, finally scoring a league goal and generally looking lively against AFC Bournemouth. It was a glimpse of what used to be, and, hopefully, what is still to come.
"He's very light, very fresh now in training, he's been enjoying it and making jokes. He's playing free with no doubt in his mind and no frustrations, so this is a good sign for me. Now he can go on for the whole season. He's not fully fit yet, so without taking any risks in the upcoming days he can regain that. And then of course the mental fitness will go accordingly."
"It's been a very bad season for him, we don't like to neglect the facts. It's difficult for a talented, high-quality player like Hazard. I think this season he had a difficult season, falling into injuries, coming back, nearly getting back then getting injured again. When you come back properly you'll be back well, and he showed that. When he is fully fit physically and mentally then he is one of the best. And I think he can regain the [PFA] award. He has the capacity to gain it back in coming years."
-Guus Hiddink; source: Sky
Like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, I'm rather enjoying our new-found positivity of the last 24-48 hours. May it long continue.