A Hazard In His Own Right
It was a proud moment for Thorgan Hazard. The younger sibling of Chelsea winger Eden, he had finally made his way out from the all encompassing shadow of his brother.
"He is no longer Eden’s brother,” Zulte Waregem coach Franck Dury said in January. “He is Thorgan Hazard in his own right.”
Dury’s evlaution was correct. Hazard has been sensational since his arrival at Zulte Waregem and recently capped off a golden boot winning season with 11 goals and 15 assists in 38 games. The brothers are both currently on the books of Chelsea, yet for Thorgan, it required a trip back home to his native Belgium in order to shine.
When Eden arrived at Chelsea’s Cobham training complex in Surrey, England, there was not just a sizable price tag trailing him. Agents, advisors, medical staff, and Chelsea TV staff all swarmed him as they celebrated another prized capture. Yet tucked somewhere quietly at the back, was his younger sibling.
"I knew very well that I was passing through," he said, reminiscing on a month spent at the training ground. 30 or so days split between training sessions with the first and reserve team. On the surface it seemed a move aimed at helping Eden acclimatize to new surroundings. Chelsea had previously struck a similar deal for the Musonda brothers (Lamisha, Tika and Charley).
The idea that he is only there because of Eden, and that the will never match his brother’s level has all been heard before. Even opponents have told him: "You’ll never be as good as Eden." Yet Thorgan remains unflustered: "We are not the first brothers in professional football. People often try to compare us, I understand, but we are not the same players. Everyone manages his career the way he wants. Eden exploded quickly, I play at my own pace, I hope it works."