Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Hazard tipped to be a success in England


Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard has been backed by his international team-mates to be a major hit in English football.
Hazard looks set to join Chelsea from French side Lille after he wrote on Twitter yesterday evening: "I'm signing for the champion's league winner".
There has been no official confirmation yet from either club about any deal, but reports have suggested the 21-year-old, who has been rated at £32million, has agreed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.
Despite his Twitter comments, Hazard - likely to feature for his country against England in Saturday's international friendly at Wembley - was giving nothing away to the cameras today at Belgium's training camp in Liege, responding to a question about Chelsea by saying: "I do not speak English".
Other members of the Belgium squad - and ones who already have Barclays Premier League experience under their belts - were more forthcoming on the matter, though, with Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen expressing his confidence that Hazard will become a big favourite of English football fans.
Vermaelen told Sky Sports News: "He is a great player with a lot of special qualities.
"I think he is a player people go to the stadiums for.
"People will love him and love watching him playing football, so I think he is a good player for the Premier League."
Asked whether Hazard had sought advice from him about a move, Vermaelen said: "He didn't come to me for any advice. I think he has a lot of people around him, so they can give him good advice about which club he should go to."
Fulham's Mousa Dembele, an attacker like Hazard, feels his compatriot has the attributes to thrive in the English top flight - and any other competition.
"It is a good competition for him," Dembele said.
"I think he can succeed in every team because he is a fantastic player and I think they will like him very much in England.
"He has quality that not a lot of other players have and I think in every competition he goes, he will play very well - including the Premier League, even if it is the best competition in the world."
Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who now faces the prospect of having to keep his fellow countryman at bay in the Premier League, admits Hazard will have a considerable weight of expectation to deal with, but expects to see him shine.
"I think Eden has the qualities and talent to play in England," Mignolet said.
"On his day, he can make the difference for his team.
"It is a big step from Lille to Chelsea and he is going to be under some pressure, especially with the money that has been spent, but I think he is a good player and if he is on his day, he can do a good job for Chelsea."
Hazard, who has been named Ligue 1's player of the year for the past two seasons, has become one of the most sought-after players in the game and has been linked with a host of European giants.
Manchester United and Manchester City looked to be favourites for his signature until Chelsea's surprise European Cup triumph last weekend.