Former Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere has backed Newcastle United to sign Chelsea hero Eden Hazard and says the Real Madrid flop would ‘love’ working under new Magpies manager Eddie Howe.
Belgian forward Hazard has endured an underwhelming spell at the Bernabeu since signing from Chelsea in 2019 for a fee in excess of £100m.
While the 30-year-old picked up the La Liga title in his first season at the club, Hazard has only scored five goals in 54 appearances and fell down the pecking order while Zinedine Zidane was still in charge.
Given his struggles in Madrid, Hazard has been linked with a return to the Premier League, with Newcastle United said to be interested in securing his signature after their Saudi-backed takeover.
Asked whether new Newcastle boss Howe could get a tune out of Hazard, Wilshere told talkSPORT: ‘He was great with me [at Bournemouth], because it was tough for me there because I was coming from a big club.
‘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.
‘Eden Hazard is another level, but I think Eden would love playing for a manager like Eddie Howe [at Newcastle].
He’s the type of manager you want to play for.’
Wilshere spent two spells at Howe’s Bournemouth and insists his former manager deserved to get the Newcastle job after Steve Bruce’s sacking last month.
‘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,’ the ex-England international said.
‘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.’
Before appointing Howe, Newcastle were in talks with former Arsenal manager Unai Emery about succeeding Bruce, but Wilshere believes Howe is a better fit for the struggling Premier League club.
‘Unai Emery has managed at top clubs, he’s managed in Europe,’ Wilshere added.
‘Newcastle are a big club, don’t get me wrong, but they’re in a relegation battle and that takes a whole new level and style of management.
‘He hasn’t got time to find the playing style, they need results now.
Someone needs to go in there and speak to the leaders and get everyone on board – that’s the first thing you need to do.
‘Don’t worry about playing staff, you need to get everyone trying again. Eddie Howe can do that.’
Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Brighton, Newcastle are still yet to win a Premier League match this season and are five points adrift of safety going into the international break.