Eden Hazard may not be as irreplaceable as N’Golo Kanté, but losing him would still be a major blow to the club, especially one that we would be hard-pressed to recover from in the remaining two weeks of the transfer window. And so, we continue to hope and entice him into signing his new, Chelsea-record contract of £300k per week instead of decamping to be Real Madrid’s next Galactico (a policy that they admittedly may not be pursuing with as much conviction as before).
According to the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror, Chelsea’s latest effort in enticing Hazard to stay is the offer of the captain’s armband, in addition to the new contract, the new coach (fun!), the new signing(s) (ambition!).
Nice touch for #cfc to consider offering #Hazard captaincy to persuade him too stay. But the guy wants to win major trophies, especially Champions League, so making more major signings will have a much bigger impact. Ambition of the club far more important than individual honour.— Simon Johnson (@sjstandardsport) July 27, 2018
Eden is already captain for the Belgium national team, a role that he’s fulfilled for the past two years, if not longer thanks to all the injuries Vincent Kompany has been dealing with. He’s never made a big deal of it (other than the standard “it’s an honor” response), but during the World Cup in Russia earlier this summer, he’s begun showing signs of emerging into a true on-pitch, vocal leader. So while Chelsea offering him the armband is a nice gesture at the very least, perhaps he will consider it a significant honor.
Chelsea do have a captain already of course in Gary Cahill, though if he were to leave before the start of the season, as some rumors, stemming from his decreasing playing time, have claimed, we would need a replacement. (He could also simply be deposed, but that’s always trickier.) Beyond Hazard, others reportedly in possible contention for the honor would be current Vice-captain César Azpilicueta and wily old veteran Cesc Fàbregas, who certainly knows how to politic better than most.
Could this offer be something that tips the balance of the scale in our favor? It certainly can’t hurt.