Remember when Luis Suarez signed a new deal at Liverpool, with the Uruguayan declaring his intention to stay at Anfield for ‘a long time’? (FYI, it was less than nine months ago)
In modern football, new contracts are merely seen as a way to placate players, and even more so agents, whose heads have been turned by offers of better pay/weather/food elsewhere.
As much can be seen from reports in the Daily Mail that Chelsea’s Eden Hazard ‘is on the verge of signing a new contract with Chelsea worth a staggering £200,000 a week’ which ‘will also be a bitter blow to long-term suitors Paris Saint-Germain.’
Hazard’s new deal is set for a further five years, which will reportedly see him pick up a £2m pay rise per annum, but bwin are clearly scornful of the notion that the 23-year-old will still be at Stamford Bridge by September 2019, pricing up such an outcome at whopping 27/5 odds.
You can have 2/25 on Hazard jumping ship, or being pushed, before then, and while these odds may seem short for a five-year wager, lessons from history suggest this bet should be up way before the turn of the next decade.
Cristiano Ronaldo left Manchester United for Real Madrid at 24, and Cesc Fabregas skipped out of Arsenal, and back to Barcelona, at the same age.
Suarez had to wait a little longer, until his current 27 years, to make his Camp Nou move, although it can easily be argued that the masterful Uruguayan’s mastication issues prevented a switch to a big La Liga gun earlier.
When the call of the continent comes, especially for those more used to El Bulli than pie and mash, players in their prime tend to leave England.
Gareth Bale is another prime example, having made his move to the Bernabeu at 24, and he’s from Cardiff!
Hazard had a poor World Cup, of that we can say with some certainty, but the double PFA Young Player of the Year has roared back into form with the table topping west Londoners in 2014/15.
The former Lille favourite has completed twice as many dribbles than any other Premier League player so far, and is only behind Chelsea teammate Fabregas in terms of key-passes made.
He has also notched once this season to date, against Leicester in the Premier League, and can be backed at 17/10 to grab his second of the campaign in the Blues’ Champions League Group G opener at home to Schalke.