Thorgan Hazard cannot wait to get started at Borussia Dortmund as he prepares “to take another step up” after completing his move from Borussia Mönchengladbach.
Hazard left Gladbach this summer after an impressive five-season stay with the Foals that has transformed him into one of the Bundesliga’s most artful and feared forwards, and enabled him to join brother Eden in the Belgium national team.
After another stellar campaign in 2018/19 - during which he scored 10 and assisted another 10 in 33 games - Hazard was ready for a new challenge, and Dortmund have provided it.
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“It’s a big club, a great stage in my career. I thought it was time to take another step up,” said Hazard.
“I've been - little by little - moving up, developing well up till now. I thought it was the moment to take the big leap to a very big club. I also wanted to stay in Germany, because I like this league.”
Other factors also swayed the ex-Chelsea and Zulte Waregem man in his decision to swap one Borussia for the other, notably Dortmund’s passionate fans and the presence of compatriot Axel Witsel.
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“I've already heard talk of the ‘Yellow Wall’ of Dortmund and I’ve already played games there. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out well for me, with defeats every time, but now I’m on the other side,” said Hazard, who has signed a five-year contract at the Signal Iduna Park.
“I’d been talking about it with Witsel for some time now. He didn’t really need to convince me: when a club like BVB comes in for you, you really want to go there. I’m looking forward to it. First, there’s the holidays to switch off a bit, and then I’ll go there.”
When he reports for pre-season training at Dortmund he will see a number of familiar faces. Coach Lucien Favre worked with Hazard at Gladbach, while other French speakers such as Raphael Guerreiro and Dan-Axel Zagadou will help Witsel in ensuring the new arrival settles quickly.
“I’m happy to be reunited with Witsel. There are also the other players who speak French, and the coach, who I’ve already had,” Hazard explained. “I’m looking forward to playing in that big stadium with the fans.”