Arsenal Transfer News: Gunners’ Whiff on Eden Hazard Will Cost Them
Arsenal has been linked to Lille midfielder Eden Hazard for quite some time, but the saga finally appears to be over. Hazard was told Lille he would like to stay on with the club, ruling out a move to the Gunners in the process, according to talkSPORT.
That is disappointing news for Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who had hoped Hazard would rejuvenate a sluggish offense with his blistering pace. The 20-year-old midfielder scored nine goals and added eight assists in 43 games across all competitions last season.
Arsenal has yet to score a goal in Premier League contest this season, with a scoreless draw against Newcastle United and a 2-0 loss to Liverpool. If the Gunners aren't able to acquire somebody who can create offense, it's going to be a struggle in the offensive third for the foreseeable future.
Hazard has been known to not always work as hard as he can in practice, which has got him into hot water with Lille manager Rudi Garcia as well as Belgium national team coach Georges Leekens. However, with Arsenal so desperate to find a playmaker, Wenger was willing to take the risk.
It just adds another name to the list of players who have turned down the Gunners during the summer transfer window. It's a window that has also seen the departure of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri, making it one of the most frustrating summers of Wenger's tenure.
The long-time boss has earned himself some breathing room after back-to-back victories over Udinese to qualify for the Champions League, but unless the team adds some offensive firepower, advancing beyond the group stage will be a tall task.
Hazard would have certainly helped the offense, but with Lille heading to the Champions League as well there wasn't a ton of incentive for the young midfielder to move. No matter what moves Wenger can scrape together of the final six days, the window will be probably be considered a failure.
That said, it will be interesting to see what, if anything, Wenger is able to pull off before Aug. 31.