Has Eden Hazard turned Chelsea into title contenders?

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With three wins out of three, Chelsea are the early leaders in the Barclay’s Premier League. The question is, can the reigning champions of Europe maintain their early form to mount a genuine title challenge and give London hope of overcoming Manchester’s dominance?

Eden Hazard believes they can. After all, his decision to abandon the two Manchester clubs and move instead to the newly crowned Champions of Europe over the summer speaks volumes. Having previously announced via his twitter page that he would be playing in Manchester this season, Chelsea’s success on the biggest stage of all provoked a change of heart within the young Belgian.

“When they won the Champions League I told myself, ‘Why not Chelsea?” said Hazard.

“There was a struggle between Chelsea and [Manchester] United but, for me, Chelsea has the best project. It’s a wonderful club.” (BBC)

Thus, his decision to move instead to London clearly expresses that Hazard is a believer in Chelsea’s title challenge. He even remarked to The Sun newspaper that he wants Chelsea “to win the treble this year”.

His belief in the club’s potential certainly aligns with the club’s belief in him. The Londoners splashed out £32m for the ex-Lille man, as well as agreeing to pay him an astronomical £200,000 a week, placing him alongside Fernando Torres the club’s top earner.

However, once the figures have finished flying around, once the talking moved from twitter to the football field, Hazard showed his class. After a delightful debut performance against Wigan, he added two more assists to his tally against Reading, before he scored his first Chelsea goal and set up Fernando Torres with an audacious backheel, as Newcastle were defeated 2-0. After just three games, everyone has realised what all the fuss was about.

For Hazard appears to have had little trouble adapting to the fast paced style of the English game. His five assists and one goal after just three games prove that. He also possesses an abundance of creative attributes that have added an extra dimension to Chelsea’s attack. His pace, vision and awareness, his mesmerising footwork, his dribbling ability and eye for goal, as well as his crafty flicks and tricks, have caught the eye of every football fan in the country. No one is in doubt that this boy can really play. At 21 years of age, Hazard has a very bright future ahead of him and could yet prove to be a remarkable investment from Chelsea.

Furthermore, the arrival of Hazard has resulted in the resurgence of team mate Fernando Torres. The Spanish striker, who, since his arrival at Chelsea in January 2011 for a British transfer fee record of £50m, has been far from his world class best. Yet with the creative force of Hazard and Mata behind him, Torres has made an explosive start to the season.

With three goals in all competitions so far, Fernando has showed signs that the form of his halcyon days at Liverpool could yet return. Moreover, with further creative additions in Brazilian Oscar and former Wigan and Crystal Palace starlet Victor Moses, Torres can be confident that goalscoring opportunities will be plentiful this season.

Whether Chelsea can maintain their early form remains to be seen. Nevertheless, what is certain is that in Eden Hazard, they have a player of immense quality and potential, one who is catalysing this early Chelsea revolution. With injuries to Aguero and Rooney, the Manchester clubs are going to have their work cut out if they are to keep sight with this rampant Chelsea fast train.

The likes of Van Persie, Tevez and Balotelli clearly have the quality to ignite a chase, however if Fernando continues to fire and Eden continues to sparkle, Chelsea could pip Manchester to the post come May time.

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