23-year-old Eden Hazard arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2012 from Lille for a reported fee of £32 million for the Belgian attacking midfielder.
Chelsea beat off the competition to sign him and it’s now paying dividends for the returning Blues boss Jose Mourinho who has overseen the Belgian’s resurgence as one of the most dangerous attackers on the continent.
Hazard has scored 11 goals and made 8 assists across all competitions for Chelsea this term but in the Premier League he is currently the most fouled player across all 20 teams with 25 players registered.
Hazard has been fouled a total of 70 times across his 24 appearances in the Premier League this term, averaging a foul suffered on 2.9 occasions per game on average. That’s more than Manchester United youngster and his compatriot Adnan Januzaj whom David Moyes has repeatedly called for referees to protect. Should Mourinho be equally as worried about Hazard?
|Player||Team||Pos||Was Fouled||Mins Played||Apps|
|Marouane Chamakh||Crystal Palace||FW||48||1,728||23|
|Fabian Delph||Aston Villa||MF||45||1,833||21|
|Adnan Januzaj||Man Utd||MF||45||1,053||17|
|Liam Ridgewell||West Brom||DF||40||2,014||23|
Perhaps the special one’s signing of Nemanja Matic who returned to Stamford Bridge last month was engineered with that in mind – Matic certainly offered the midfield players in general more protection against Manchester City at the Etihad on Monday night in their 1-0 win.
Hazard has a pass completion rate of 83% so far this term, he has taken a total of 47 shots on goal, averaging 2 per game, he has completed 92 dribbles, averaging 3.8 per game, has made 62 key passes, averaging 2.6 per game and has been dispossessed on more occasions than any other player, 65 times in total.
The two stats that seem to correlate in my estimation are that Hazard gets fouled more than any other player and also gets dispossessed more than any other player, which suggests to me that he’s likely getting fouled more often than it even registers with referees. It’s quite remarkable that his dribble success rate is as high as 58.5% given how often he is having to ride challenges, often unfairly.
Meanwhile, when he’s not being fouled into submission, he has been a massive 64% on target with his shots, of which 45% of those on target have led to a Chelsea goal this term. Imagine how many goals Chelsea could and would have if he wasn’t being fouled persistently, often cynically and sometimes recklessly by the opposition.
image: © Ben Sutherland