‘Chelsea issue a new Hazard warning‘ , ‘The Blues sign up Eden’s little brother‘, ‘Double Hazard at Chelsea‘ , ‘Even better than Eden‘ were the news headlines when Chelsea agreed upon a deal with RC Lens on the permanent transfer of the 19 year – old midfielder Thorgan Hazard for an undisclosed fee, rumored to be around £2 million. The RC Lens youth coach described Thorgan as “A technically gifted player who can settle a match by himself” and if a few reports are to be believed, Eden has stated that Thorgan is a better player than he is. Yes, Eden has lots of love and compassion for his brother. But in reality, Thorgan isn’t half the player Eden is. To a certain extent, it’s unfair to compare him with his more celebrated brother just yet. But this might give us a good insight into what Thorgan is all about.
The young Belgian moved to France in his academy days to develop in a better footballing environment, choosing Lens, fierce rivals of Eden’s club, Lille. He was a part of the youth academy that included our very own Gael Kakuta. He, like his brother, can play both as an attacking midfielder and a winger. From a physical standpoint, he is very similar to Eden. But the comparisons between the two make it evident why Thorgan comes in with a relatively miniscule price tag.
Eden broke into the first team at Lille at the age of 16 and was a regular at 17. He has had an impressive 147 appearances for the French club, before moving to Chelsea. On the other hand, Thorgan was looking to establish himself as a regular at the age of 19 making 14 senior appearances only last season at Lens. That being said, it’s easy to see that Eden has a lot of extra experience as compared to Thorgan. In terms of speed and agility, I would say both of them are fairly even. But when it comes to strength, Eden edges ahead in my opinion. However, to be fair to Thorgan, he should definitely bulk up in that area by the time he is 21. The only area where Thorgan might be better than his older brother, is his aggression. He loves to penetrate through the defense and have a run at the defenders. Although this might sound exciting, it isn’t always a good thing, as he may lose a lot of the ball and in turn give the opposition a chance to stage deadly counterattacks. The problem with him is that he only shows flashes of his brilliance and lacks consistency. Sometimes, he holds the ball for too long and doesn’t release it at the right moment, when the situation demands.
These weaknesses show that Thorgan is very raw at the moment, but packs a lot of potential. He will be working with the Under 21 squad so hopefully the comparison between the two brothers will be reduced to a huge extent. As he won’t be in the limelight, he will be able to concentrate more on developing and maturing as a player and working hard to improve upon his weaknesses. Training with the likes of Mata, Marin and his brother will be a huge advantage as he would look up to them as role models. There have been rumours regarding a loan move for Thorgan before this window closes, but I personally believe he will do well to train at Chelsea for a year and only then must he be considered for a loan spell at a good club.
It’s always great to see young talent being brought in at Stamford Bridge. Not only does it improve the competition in the youth ranks, forcing them to push harder to break in the first team, but it also helps us save loads of money if the youth are properly and deservedly integrated into the first team. Ryan Bertrand, for example, has booked his place as a back-up to Ashley Cole this season and he is going to have a lot of game time at top level.
Thorgan probably got his transfer to Stamford Bridge because of his brother’s move. With his brother alongside him in London, it will help Eden settle in well and his mind will be at peace as his little brother gets a shot to make it big with the European champions. Signing talents like Thorgan can potentially be a huge bargain if he matures and develops as expected. We probably won’t be seeing much of him next season as he isn’t exactly in form for the first team. But who knows, he just might turn out to be one of the most shrewd transfers Chelsea have ever made.