Hazard can choose football over finance

by Dan Kilpatrick

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Eden Hazard has the chance to make a brave choice. If the Lille forward joins Tottenham Hotspur, it will be a rare triumph for attractive football and sound principles over great big wads of cash.

The Belgian could have his pick from England’s top clubs, not to mention the big two in La Liga.

Chelsea, ageing and toothless, would dearly love a player capable of unlocking defences in an instant; Liverpool also; Arsenal, one injury to Robin van Persie away from midtable mediocrity, need some genuine quality next to the Dutchman; Manchester City would relish another trophy player for the collection; Sir Alex needs a stylish creator to fill the void that will (eventually) be left by Scholes and Giggs.

All of the above have the financial muscle to blow Spurs – fiscally restricted by a smaller stadium and soundly run by Daniel Levy – out of the water.

But football reasons alone make Spurs Hazard’s best bet.

The Premier League table doesn’t lie, of course, and it reveals, fair and square, that there are currently two sides better than Tottenham in England.

There is a compelling argument, however, that Spurs have been the most impressive side in the Premier League this season.

Harry Redknapp has assembled a team full of verve and dash and Hazard, a stylish attacker who can play on the flanks or centrally, would complement it perfectly.

Their first half demolition of Newcastle was as scintillating a display as you will see this season. Afterwards, a breathless Louis Saha, said, ‘As a kid, you always dream of playing fantasy, attacking football and you’ve seen that here. In the first 15 minutes, it was the quickest football that I’ve ever played.’

Quite simply, Spurs play the finest football in the League – even Sir Alex admits it.

Even with the Will he? Won’t he? Redknapp saga hanging over the club, there are great vibes emanating from White Hart Lane and Hazard appears to have noticed. He can live Saha’s dream at Spurs.

They are comfortably the best side in London and unlike Chelsea and Arsenal, Champions League football next term is all but assured. At Liverpool recently and Fulham in November, they showed a defensive resilience that Arsene Wenger’s one-man-team can only dream of, while they are now better across the park than Chelsea.

Manchester, Madrid or Barcelona may yet be alternative destinations for Hazard but competition for places make them all less attractive than Spurs, a club on the up who have proved willing to trust young players like Bale, Walker and Sandro with extended runs in the team.

Redknapp has just two natural wingers at his disposal, while Utd boast Young, Nani and Valencia, plus Giggs and Welbeck.

City are so inundated with attacking options they have exiled one in Argentina and loaned another to Spurs and there is a soulless feel about the club that comes with buying success.

Hazard may not stay at Spurs forever but he can develop at White Hart Lane, whilst challenging for trophies with world-class teammates.

But money talks in football. Redknapp himself has candidly admitted it is hard for any player to turn down huge wages. Hazard will surely be tempted by the sums City or Chelsea in particular are able to offer, but he has the chance to make a bold decision based on football not finance.

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  • Michael Somerville

    Would love to see him at Spurs and I believe they can afford his £30m transfer fee.

    Best side in London- no mean feat.

  • vicky gooner

    I wish Arsenal were as good as Spurs and could compete for signings like this.

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