DUESSELDORF, GERMANY - OCTOBER 11: Beneditk Hoewedes (R) of Germany battles for the ball with Eden Hazard of Belgium during the UEFA EURO 2012 Group A qualifying match between Germany and Belgium at Esprit Arena on October 11, 2011 in Duesseldorf, Germany. (Photo by Joern Pollex/Bongarts/Getty Images)
If you want Lille/Belgium star Eden Hazard, and you want him this January, stop being so greedy. You're not getting him. However, there's some good news if you happen to be a Hazardite - the Chelsea transfer target has confirmed that this will be his last season with the French champions, and, indeed, his last summer in Ligue 1:
I am ready to go to the next level at a big club, I won't leave in January. It would be silly to do so. But it's my last season at Lille. I stayed with Lille this year because I still had things to work on and prove. But now I'm ready. I feel able to play in another country.
Paris is not for now. Paris is magical, as they say. Of course it attracts me. But for now, no, I will not go there. I do not want to go to a rival of Lille's in France. It would be inconsistent. The fans would not understand.
-Eden Hazard. Source: L'Equipe via Fulham & Hammersmith Chronicle.
Hazard, of course, is a classy, creative winger (think Juan Mata, but more dribbly and less passy) who's been setting Ligue 1 on fire for years. Chelsea have been associated with pretty much every young Belgian in the world recently, but comparisons between Romelu Lukaku and Kevin de Bruyne are probably with of the mark, with Hazard a far more complete, polished player than either.
He's been excellent in every competition, is just twenty years old, and would fit happily into Chelsea's lineup right now - there's no question that he's a better player and better fit for the system than Daniel Sturridge, who still needs some work*. Chelsea, of course, aren't locks for Hazard, with Arsenal in particular also linked to the winger, but the team's interest has been noted by Lille, and this is going to be a major storyline come summertime.
*Although who knows how Sturridge will look by the end of the year, considering his improvement during the 10/11 season.