That's why Real Madrid want him! Hazard shows Galactico credentials yet again

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The Belgian got a wondergoal and dazzled Stamford Bridge for 90 minutes, and his showing won't have been missed 784 miles away in Madrid

Sometimes it's easy to take a footballer for granted, but a piece of magic against West Ham United reminded all who watch Chelsea that Eden Hazard is the Premier League's most exciting footballer.

His 16 goals and 12 assists mean he has been the league's most effective attacker this season, but it is his ability to bring the 'wow factor' that makes him one of the world's most loved players.

A quick turn was followed by a turbo-charged dribble to break the midfield line controlled by Declan Rice and Mark Noble, before Hazard then switched it from his right to left foot to bamboozle West Ham's centre-backs and blast a first-time left-footed strike past Lukasz Fabianski.

The goal will find a place among Hazard's greatest hits alongside two tremendous away goals against Liverpool, one against Arsenal and the strike that ended Tottenham's title hopes here at Stamford Bridge back in 2016.

It was Hazard's 108th goal in all competitions for Chelsea, matching the club's ninth all-time top scorer George Hilsdon. It also ranks as his 85th in the league, putting him alongside the totals achieved by prolific goalscorers like Fernando Torres (85) and Cristiano Ronaldo (84) in this competition.

Now on 19 goals across the board, Hazard is near certain to finally break the 20-goal mark in all competitions for the first time since coming to west London.

It was a complete performance aside from his goal, with two wonderful balls giving his heir apparent Callum Hudson-Odoi chances to score on a surprise second start in two Premier League games.

Hazard could have had more goals, and brought the best out of a struggling Gonzalo Higuain as he elegantly moved across the pitch in a hope-boosting display in what has been an otherwise underwhelming season so far for the Blues.

If this continues from Hazard, then the now third-placed Chelsea must be considered favourites to achieve their goals of a top-four finish and qualify for the Champions League next season. His strikes were the only goals of a London derby in which there was no room for error for Maurizio Sarri's side.

The goal served many further purposes away from getting the result as it reminded the Premier League what a joy it has been to watch one of the greatest dribblers of our time, with talk heating up over a probable summer move to Real Madrid.

Emerson Palmieri, Eden Hazard, Chelsea vs West Ham 2018-19

Madrid are looking for a new Galactico to help rebuild after what has been a largely dismal season, having reintroduced legendary manager Zinedine Zidane to the Santiago Bernabeu dugout as they look to the future.

The former midfielder delighted world football for decades with his clubs and country and attracted a generation of admirers, including a young Hazard, who would emulate the Frenchman's greatest moments as he looked to make it in the game himself.

Now back in the hot seat, he is targeting the 28-year-old who has just one year remaining on his current Chelsea deal, giving him the leverage he might need to force a move.

Madrid stated their intent this week as Chelsea hold out for £100 million for their most valuable and marketable player, whose talismanic displays they have come to rely on over the past seven years.

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The Blues' director Marina Granovskaia is famed in the football world for being a difficult negotiator and she will be considering adding a few million to any price tag after watching on tonight.

Chelsea want to renew Hazard's contract, but it might be a summer of heartbreak that sees their decorated number 10 leave for another stage. He will have delivered five major honours, or perhaps six with a Europa League success this season.

There may be heartbreak if he goes, but once the dust settles, Hazard will be considered a legend at Stamford Bridge, and it is moments like that which will inspire the next generation, just as Zidane did in his time at the top.

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