It’s a transfer that has been in the making for what seems like an eternity, but this summer has finally seen Eden Hazard make the move from Chelsea to Real Madrid.
The Belgian winger has left a lasting legacy on the Premier League in his seven years in west London, winning two Premier League titles, two Europa Leagues, an FA Cup as well as a PFA Player of the Year award in 2015.
Hazard has been one of the best players in English football this decade and will leave a sizeable hole in the Blues squad after such a lengthy period of dominance, but who still at Chelsea will miss the world-class winger the most?
Football FanCast takes a look at the five players who have most regularly benefited from Hazard’s presence by recording the most joint goal participations with him, whether that’s the Belgian setting them up or vice versa…
Willian – 16 goal contributions
Hazard and Willian have been part of the Chelsea furniture for the best part of six years, and it’s no surprise to see them become the most prolific duo in this respect during their time together in west London.
Surprisingly it took a full season before the attackers both linked up with one another, when Hazard assisted Willian in a 5-0 win against Schalke in the Champions League. But since that night, the wingers have been consistent with each other, and you can argue that out of all the players in the Chelsea squad, the Brazilian will be hindered the most following Hazard’s move to Real.
Pedro – 10 goal contributions
Pedro was a surprising signing when the Barcelona star made the move from the La Liga giants to west London, but it didn’t take long for the attacker to spark a connection with Hazard – the Belgian attacker assisted the Spaniard on his Premier League debut.
It is also fitting then that the duo combined on what was ultimately Hazard’s final game for Chelsea in the Europa League final, when Pedro made it 2-0 to the Blues with an assist from the Real Madrid-bound attacker, and there is no doubt the Spaniard will miss the former Lille man starting opposite him in the XI.
Cesar Azpilicueta – 7 goal contributions
When you play nearly 300 games together, goals are bound to come eventually, and that has been the case for Hazard and Chelsea defender Cesar Azpilicueta, who have combined seven times together in west London.
The duo combined three times this season alone, with two of those goals coming in Chelsea’s run to the League Cup final as Azpilicueta set up Hazard against both Liverpool and Tottenham.
Check out a fan’s outrageous call for England to take a leaf of out cricket and rugby’s book after a limp Nations League performance in the video below…
Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7 goal contributions
Despite only playing 42 times together, goals were aplenty when Hazard and Ruben Loftus-Cheek both featured, creating seven goals – one goal every six games.
The duo linked up in the Blues’ Europa League semi-final match against Eintracht Frankfurt as Loftus-Cheek opened the scoring in the second-leg four days before the midfielder scored against Watford in the Premier League thanks to a Hazard cross.
Olivier Giroud – 6 goal contributions
In his 18 months at Chelsea, Olivier Giroud has formed a decent relationship with Hazard.
The duo combined twice in the Europa League final against Giroud’s former side Arsenal as the former Gunners fan favourite won the penalty that Hazard converted to make it 3-0 and then assisted the Belgian winger in open play seven minutes later to make it 4-1 for Chelsea.
Although Giroud features bottom of this list, he’ll be amongst the Chelsea players most affected by Hazard’s departure. Struggling to provide goals himself, a key part of the Frenchman’s role in west London was based around his ability to bring Hazard into play.
Does Giroud still have the same relevance without the Belgian around?