With the Bundesliga in the early stages of the Rückrunde, Borussia Mönchengladbach have become a surprise title contender. At the time of writing, Gladbach are second-place ahead of Bayern Munich on goal difference and seven points from Borussia Dortmund.
A big reason for their rise in form has been Belgium international attacking winger Thorgan Hazard.
The attacking winger joined Borussia Mönchengladbach initially on loan in the 2014/15 season where he immediately made his mark. Hazard made 28 league appearances producing a single goal and seven assists under now Borussia Dortmund manager Lucian Favre to help Die Fohlen qualify for the Champions League.
Gladbach would eventually buy Hazard from Chelsea prior to the 2015/16 campaign for £7.2 Million and have been repaid handsomely by his contribution. His last and current seasons performances have been outstanding and Borussia may have their work cut out keeping the talented Belgian at the season’s end.
This analysis will look to showcase Thorgan Hazard’s importance to the set-up at Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Who is Thorgan Hazard?
Let’s take a look at Hazard’s profile.
From the image above, Hazard predominately operates on the left side of midfield.
That being said, the Belgian is quite versatile and can play a variety of roles. Whether it’s on the right-hand side of midfield, playing in a number ten role behind the striker or playing up top and leading the line.
Under Dieter Hecking this season, Gladbach have favoured an attacking 4-3-3 formation with Hazard operating on either wing. Personnel has been relatively interchangeable with Alassane Plea either playing as a striker or in the wings, this is determined whether Lars Stindl is in the lineup.
Gladbach’s versatility going forward has been noticeably present this season. The ability to use a variety of different combination has meant teams can’t prepare for their unpredictable play. It’s no surprise that Hazard has been difficult to contain this season.
In all competitions, no player from Borussia Mönchengladbach has been featured in more goals this season than Thorgan Hazard who has played his part in 21. Plea comes closest to Hazard with 16.
The table above focuses on Hazard’s attacking statistics from the current campaign. Hazard completes 6.77 of his dribbles per 90 at a completion rate of 65.7%.
The 25-year-old has an expected goals per game of 0.35, he has nine Bundesliga goals this season and 12 goals in all competitions. Hazard averages 0.3 assists this season with eight of his nine coming in league play.
Last season, Hazard scored ten goals and eight assists in the Bundesliga. He is already inches away from eclipsing his personal bests.
Baaing any injuries, Thorgan Hazard should reach double figures in goals and assists in the Bundesliga. He has proven to be an excellent option in a variety of roles for Borussia Mönchengladbach and leaving Chelsea when he did was critical in his development.
However, a player of his quality will be very much scouted by clubs within the Premier League amongst other big name sides. A Borussia Dortmund could well use his talents with the departing Christian Pulisic leaving for Stamford Bridge in the summer. If we were to take form into account, Hazard would be an upgrade on the American.
His former employers Chelsea could bring the Belgian back to the Bridge. Ironically if the rumours are to be true that his brother Eden is set to depart at the end of the season, Thorgan could be the perfect replacement.
Thus, Borussia Mönchengladbach would be set to profit on the sale of Thorgan Hazard if the winger decides to hand in a transfer request at seasons end. They will need to act quickly if this is the case to avoid Hazard’s contract running down and losing him for free.