Eden Hazard left Chelsea to join Real Madrid last summer after winning two Premier League titles at Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard should have his legacy at Chelsea honored with a statue outside Stamford Bridge.
According to NBA star and Blues fan Larry Nance Jr. Hazard spent seven years at Chelsea where he established himself as one of the world’s best attackers.
During his time at the club he played under six managers, helping the club win numerous trophies in his time there.
When he signed for Chelsea in 2012 for a fee worth a reported £32million, there were high expectations on how he would develop.
But he surpassed those expectations, earning countless individual awards including being named Chelsea’s player of the year on four occasions.
Chelsea were desperate to keep hold of the Belgium international, but he made it clear that his dream move was to join Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants eventually made their move last summer, ending Hazard’s stay in the Premier League.
The 29-year-old has been heralded as one of Chelsea’s all-time greats, being put in the same bracket as club legends such as Frank Lampard and John Terry.
And Cleveland Cavaliers star Nance Jr, who has been an avid Chelsea supporter ever since the 2010 World Cup, believes Hazard should be honoured with his own statue.
“It’s impossible to deny that Hazard deserves a statue one day, he’s unbelievable,” Nance Jr. said on on the Chelsea Mike’d Up podcast.
“Seeing him go was one of those things that, being involved in sports, I understand.
“Even with basketball, we have a cap, so all teams must spend the same, but it’s not like that in football.
“Leaving Chelsea to go to Madrid, I get it… it’s a bigger pond – it’s a little sad, but at the same time I respect his decision.
“Same with Thibaut, I’m pretty sure his family was in Madrid so that’s where he wanted to go, so I get that.”
Having lost Hazard last summer and being unable to sign a replacement due to a transfer ban, expectations on what Chelsea could achieve this season were relatively low.
But Lampard, in his first season as manager at the club, has earned high praise for his development of youth players such as Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham with the club currently sitting fourth in the table.
And Nance Jr, who began his NBA career with the Los Angeles Lakers before being traded to the Cavaliers, likes the direction Chelsea are heading in.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this season, because going into it I was like ‘new manager, lost our best players – the best player in the Premier League at that time – new striker, we are completely new, we are playing the babies,’ so I was ready to settle for top six if we can get some experience and then fight for it,” he added.
“But we started so hot and some players like Mason Mount started so unbelievably well that I think we unrealistically got our hopes up or me at least.
“At this point, I have an exorbitant amount of patience and confidence in these guys.
“I love Frank [Lampard], I like Mason [Mount] – I met him a few times and he’s a great guy – big fan of Tammy [Abraham] as well.
“Christian [Pulisic] it goes without saying although I wished we played him more. I think Christian is going to be great.”