Eden Hazard has been tipped to join Newcastle United because he “would love” playing under their new head coach Eddie Howe.
That’s the opinion of former Premier League midfielder Jack Wilshere, who spent time playing for Howe himself during a spell with AFC Bournemouth.
There has been much anticipation about the type of signings Newcastle may make in January following their Saudi-backed takeover. They now have the funds to lure anyone, but first must convince targets of their sporting project.
The strategy may be to find players looking to rebuild their careers, which is where Hazard may fit in. Things have not gone to plan for him after his big-money move from Chelsea to Real Madrid in 2019.
Hazard was an exciting player across seven seasons with Chelsea. He always seemed capable of making the step up to a powerhouse like Real. Their long-term pursuit, though, has not paid off.
Injuries have been a factor, but the Belgian has generally been a disappointment in Madrid. Still only 30, he will be keen for the rest of his career not to fade.
Newcastle could provide him with a solution back in the Premier League. There have been plenty of reports about their interest.
Some doubts have been raised about whether Hazard would want to join them. However, one man who thinks it could happen is Wilshere.
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The ex-Arsenal star thinks Hazard would be a signing on “another level”, but the recent appointment of Howe as head coach could be a persuasive factor.
Howe has been chosen as the successor to Steve Bruce and will be overseeing the Newcastle rebuild. It was the first important decision by the new owners and the attention can soon turn to transfers.
They remain optimistic of luring Hazard to St James’ Park. And according to Wilshere, Howe is the kind of manager that Hazard would enjoy his football under again.
“Eden Hazard is another level, but I think Eden would love playing for a manager like Eddie Howe,” he told talkSPORT.
“He’s the type of manager you want to play for.”
Wilshere outlines how Howe helped arrival from bigger club
Elaborating on what makes the new Magpies boss special, Wilshere tipped Howe to inspire a sense of unity just as he did on the South Coast.
“I worked with him at a club that I see now are quite similar to Newcastle – not in terms of the size of the club, but in terms of the players,” he added.
“Newcastle have got a few ex-Bournemouth players and that is what Eddie does, he gets the best out of those types of players, gets them going and he gets the fans on side. He’s a great manager.
“I think he deserves a chance. If he goes in and does really well, in a few years they could be pushing the top six, which I think he can do.
“When I played under him at Bournemouth we arguably had a worse squad and we finished ninth, so he can definitely do that.
“It’s down to him when he gets that chance to take them to the next level.”
Looking back on his own time with Howe, Wilshere said the ex-Cherries boss did well to accommodate someone arriving from a bigger club (which may be something he can replicate with Hazard).
“He was great with me, because it was tough for me there because I was coming from a big club,” the Arsenal academy graduate said.
“I stepped into a group that had been together since they were in League One. They were all friends. They were all great with me, but Eddie made sure they were. He was great with me.”