Currently topping the Premier League scoring charts, with five goals, the hot topic of conversation relating to Eden Hazard is just how many he can score this season.
With Maurizio Sarri playing Hazard further forward and insinuating he does his best work in the last twenty-five yards of the pitch, the figure of 40 goals is being bandied about.
All of a sudden, Hazard, in the eyes of some, has suddenly turned from somebody who can score goals and create chances for others into, if he is to score 40 goals this season, something akin to an out and out striker.
Now Sarri has already insinuated that he doesn’t expect Chelsea to win the title this season, citing Manchester City and Liverpool as the leading candidates to do such a thing.
But, just supposing Hazard can hit the magical figure of 40 goals, you’d imagine that Chelsea won’t be far off winning the title.
Teams, who have a player who scores with that frequency, invariably take the title.
Apart from one exception.
Back in the 1986 / 1987 season, Clive Allen, playing for Tottenham Hotspur, managed to score 49 goals, in all competitions for Tottenham, but the North London side didn’t win the league, something they’ve managed to do since the year I was born.
But is the 40-goal mark really a feasible target for Hazard to reach?
One leading football pundit, Stuart Pearce, talking on Sky Sports, has remarked about the possibility:
“I’m not sure Chelsea will dominate the league enough to create enough chances for Hazard to get 40 goals, because of Liverpool and Manchester City.
“Put him in the Liverpool and Manchester City team at this moment in time and I think he might be able to.”
Is Pearce correct?
God forbid us ever seeing Hazard in the shirts of either of those two clubs, but 40-goals, in whatever shirt you are wearing, is a tall achievement.
Obstacles, such as injury or suspension can derail those dreams, as can a temporary loss of form.
For me, I’d be pleased if Hazard got 20+ goals this season, that’d indicate that the Belgian has moved on to another level and that his game has focused on the attacking aspects rather than tracking back.
It’d also, in my opinion, see Chelsea, at least, in the chase for a top-four spot minimum.