Eden Hazard is finishing up his fifth season at Chelsea Football Club, which in a way is already a fairly unique accomplishment. Staying with any one team in professional sports for more than just a few years is not all that common these days, and possibly getting less and less common as player power becomes more of a thing with every passing year.
In fact, Hazard, with 243 career appearances, is already 57th on the all-time list (out of nearly 700), one ahead of Pat Nevin. At the same rate, even if he only sees out the last three years of his current contract, he’d be knocking on the door of the top 10, or at least the 12-player strong 400+ club. But that’s probably not going to happen. Perhaps the only thing we can guarantee at the moment is that Hazard simply seeing out his current contract with Chelsea is not going to happen. His situation will most likely change in the next few months, either by signing a new Chelsea deal or proving right five years worth of Real Madrid rumors and leaving us.
For what it’s worth, head coach Antonio Conte isn’t worried about that latter possibility, both because it would not make any sense for Chelsea to allow that to happen and because Hazard and his family are very happy at the club and in London.
“I think that it’s impossible for me to take this responsibility, not only for Eden but for every single player. In this situation, it’s the club who have the final decision. I can say my opinion about this situation, but I repeat: the club has the final word.”
“I don’t think that this idea is in the mind of the club. I think we have to improve the team, to reinforce the team.”
“You know that, in football, there is also the will of the player. But I think also Eden is very happy to stay in Chelsea, to stay with us and work with us. I can tell this. But the future... I haven’t a crystal ball.”
“I think Eden is very happy to stay and play for this team, for this club. I think his family is very happy to stay here. The fans love him and I think there are a lot of positive things that bring him to stay here and to try to reach the best with this club. Don’t forget, the target of this club is to try to win in every competition we play in.”
-Antonio Conte; source: Telegraph
So say we all.