Eden Hazard’s father, Thierry, has insisted his son’s departure from Chelsea this summer is “out of the question” and has suggested the club have pushed him to play through the pain barrier as he struggles with an ongoing hip complaint.
Hazard, last season’s player of the year as the London club claimed the Premier League title, has laboured all campaign and has yet to score a goal in the top flight. Supporters’ frustrations with his form boiled over with a smattering of boos upon his substitution 13 minutes from time on Wednesday night as Chelsea slipped out of the Champions League with defeat to Paris Saint-Germain, with the Belgian doubtful for Saturday’s awkward FA Cup quarter-final at Everton.
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Asked about the deterioration in his son’s form, Hazard Sr pointed to the injury problems which have hampered him since the end of last year, when he was kicked by Jamie Vardy in a loss at Leicester City which proved to be José Mourinho’s final match in charge. “Eden’s lack of form is due to an injury, an inflammation in the hip, that he’s been carrying now for three or four months,” he said in an interview with the Belgian newspaper Le Soir. “It’s not a bad injury, but when the pain appears, it feels like a stabbing. It feels like a knife is stabbed in it.
“He was feeling the pain early in the game [against Leicester] and that’s why he has asked for a substitution. Instead of giving Eden time to overcome the injury and have a proper rest, they push him to play because they have some important games … So he has no choice … Which player hasn’t had highs and lows in his career? It’s the first time in his professional career that he’s confronted a difficult period. He’s not a machine, as we know.”
PSG, along with Real Madrid, have been heavily linked with a move for the player at the end of the season, speculation fuelled by an interview the 25-year-old conducted with Le Parisien last month in which he declared his admiration for the Ligue 1 champions. But Chelsea, who tied Hazard down last year to a new £200,000-a-week contract which extends to 2020, have no desire to sell and will resist any offers for his signature.
“Eden has never said he wanted to play for PSG,” said Thierry Hazard, whose son had unwisely swapped shirts with Ángel Di María at half-time on Wednesday night. “He’s just confirmed that PSG have become a big club and that every player would like to play for clubs of that level. Eden has a contract until 2020. It’s out of question that he’ll leave the club at the moment.”