One of the many new faces at Borussia Dortmund ahead of the new season, Thorgan Hazard swapped one Borussia for another in leaving Mönchengladbach over the summer. The Belgium international doesn’t mind the added pressure which comes with playing for BVB, though.
After five years at Borussia-Park – comprising 46 goals in 182 appearances – Hazard took “the next step” this summer by joining Dortmund. Although the coaxing of international teammate Axel Witsel may have helped his decision, the 26-year-old forward didn’t need long to make up his mind.
"I spoke to Axel Witsel before I joined,” Hazard told a press round at Dortmund’s summer training camp in Austria. “He's already a very important and very good player here, but I've already said that when Dortmund comes knocking, you don’t think about it for long."
Watch: Thorgan Hazard's Bundesliga Mixtape!
Hazard is one of five new recruits to call the Signal Iduna Park home from 2019/20 on. Julian Brandt, Mats Hummels, Nico Schulz and Mateu Morey have all joined Lucien Favre’s side, hell-bent on delivering silverware to the black-and-yellow faithful.
"We as new players already have a lot of pressure, but I like a bit more pressure.
"It's about time for me to win titles," Hazard added in an interview with SportBild. "I hope that I succeed in Dortmund. BVB is a club that always has the right to win. However, if your title competitor is Bayern Munich, it's not as easy as that."
Last season Dortmund came closer to winning the Bundesliga title than in each of the past seven campaigns since lifting their last Meisterschale in 2012. BVB surrendered a nine-point advantage during the Rückrunde, though, and Hazard is now hoping he can use his attacking versatility to help his former coach at Gladbach, Favre, re-write the wrongs of 2018/19.
"I played under Favre in Gladbach for a year and learned a lot from him - defensively too,” Hazard said. “I know the coach is very passionate about detail, which is good for the level of the team.
“I can play up front, left or right, it doesn’t matter where the coach needs me, I’ll play. He knows which position I like and where I’m good.
“I like the number nine position, I'm comfortable there. I played there under Andre Schubert, but with this team it's also easier to play anywhere, you can mix up the attack a lot.”
Dortmund scored 81 goals across 34 Bundesliga fixtures last season – seven fewer than record champions Bayern. However, with Hazard joining the likes of Jadon Sancho, Marco Reus, Mario Götze and Paco Alcacer in the BVB attack, there’s little doubt opposition nets will be left rippling even more in 2019/20.
But Hazard and Co. will be hoping there’s also a winner’s medal to collect come the end of the season.
Witsel, Hazard and Meunier: BVB stars heading Belgium's Euro tilt
The world's No.1 nation are already looking to their BVB trio to secure a first major international trophy.
Thorgan Hazard: 10 things
How much do you really know about the Dortmund star? We train the microscope on the Belgium international.
Watch: Hazard: “Gladbach playing to win against Dortmund”
Thorgan Hazard says Gladbach plan to leave the Signal Iduna Park with all three points on Friday.