Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel can reap rewards of Eden Hazard move to deal West Ham blow

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Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel could be set to benefit from a move for Eden Hazard to stop West Ham United from landing the Blues legend in the January transfer window. The 30-year-old, who is reportedly a target for the Hammers, has struggled to display the form he showed at Stamford Bridge on a regular basis for Real Madrid in recent years.

Hazard established himself as one of the world’s best players during his time with Chelsea but has endured a turbulent spell with his current employers.

He joined the club for a fee in the region of £103million back in 2019 and was expected to assume a starring role at the top of the pitch for Los Blancos.

However, the Belgian forward has scored just five goals from 55 appearances in all competitions, providing another nine assists in the process.

He remains under contract until the summer of 2024 but has been heavily linked with a premature exit ahead of the January window.

The likes of West Ham and Newcastle United have recently been credited with a desire to sign Hazard, while a sensational return to Chelsea has also been touted.

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It seems as though a move for Hazard would represent a shrewd addition for the Hammers, who are well-placed to battle for a spot in the Premier League’s top four this season.

However, his arrival at the London Stadium could spell bad news for Chelsea and Tuchel if they find themselves slipping away from this season’s title race ahead of the run-in.

West Ham came agonisingly close to achieving Champions League qualification last season after sealing a loan move for Manchester United playmaker Jesse Lingard on the final day of the January window.

The England ace chipped in with nine goals and four assists during a successful spell in the capital before returning to Old Trafford at the end of the campaign.

Hazard could be poised to enjoy a similar resurgence without the pressure of performing for Real Madrid if he joins West Ham when the transfer window reopens next month.

This could see Chelsea being forced to deal with an unthinkable scenario if they slip out of Premier League title contention and end up scrapping for a top-four berth between now and the end of the season.

Tuchel’s side only just managed to pip West Ham to a Champions League spot last season but could face the possibility of dropping out of the competition altogether in the event of Hazard coming back to haunt them.

It would represent a hugely embarrassing moment for those in command at Stamford Bridge if he ends up scoring the decisive goal to condemn Chelsea to a place in next year’s Europa League.

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However, they will have the opportunity to prevent such a situation from taking place by sealing a move for Hazard ahead of West Ham in January.

The former Blues man would provide a welcome boost to Chelsea’s attacking options, with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Hakim Ziyech and Callum Hudson-Odoi having struggled for consistency over the course of the last two seasons.

His experience and well-earned status as a legendary figure at the club may also serve to boost morale ahead of the business end of the campaign.

It remains to be seen whether Hazard will be allowed to leave Real Madrid in the near future, with the Belgian under contract until the summer of 2024.

However, if Chelsea decide against pursuing a move for his services in January, it will represent a missed opportunity if he eventually joins West Ham and plays a key role in their ongoing bid for a top-four finish.

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