Eden Hazard could be taking on a new challenge as he hints at an exit from Chelsea, despite hopes that he and teammate Thibaut Courtois can continue to play with one another.
“It could be the best time [for Hazard] to try something different,” Belgium coach Roberto Martinez told Cadena Ser’s “El Larguero” radio show.
“His play is based on talent. Hazard could carry a new project anywhere in the world. He is at the best moment of his career.
“For me, it’s very easy to answer that question. He could fit in any team in the world. Players need new challenges and new projects. Perhaps it’s a good time for [Chelsea] and for Eden [to split]. I would be very surprised if Chelsea didn’t have big offers for him right now.”
“Eden is a player you don’t really know until you work with him,” Martinez said. “I’ve been pleasantly surprised. He has such maturity and leadership skills. Eden is one of the few players that exists around the world where his play is based on talent one on one.”
“The focus was on the national team, on giving our best and on having success,” Martinez said. “Eden has won three Man of the Match awards of the seven games in Russia. He is competitive. He has been incredibly consistent. I don’t think he has any type of preference right now.”
Courtois doesn’t know where he will end up next, but is determined to have Hazard at his side wherever he goes next.
“Wherever I go, Hazard must come along,” Courtois said, according to Het Laatste Nieuws. “We will not let each other go. We’ll see. First, holiday, and I’ll agree things with my entourage in the meantime.”
“I’m going to talk to my agent to see what the possibilities are,” he said. “All options are open for me. I may also stay at Chelsea. People always complain that players don’t comply with their contracts, but maybe I will.
“I don’t think they will keep someone with my qualities on the bench, even if I don’t sign. But perhaps that is possible, because I like being in London.”