Thorgan Hazard seeking to follow Kevin De Bruyne rise under Hecking at Borussia Mönchengladbach
De Bruyne was the central figure in Wolfsburg’s second-place finish in the 2015/16 Bundesliga season, breaking the top-flight assist record with 21 while also chipping in with ten goals as Hecking guided the Wolves to their best placing since winning the title in 2008/09.
Watch: A De Bruyne masterclass as Wolfsburg humble Bayern.
De Bruyne was named Germany’s Player of the Year before moving to Manchester City in summer 2015. Hecking stayed on, taking Wolfsburg to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals before eventually being relieved of his duties in October 2016.
He resurfaced two months later when he stepped into the job at Borussia-Park where the Foals were faltering. He got them back on their feet, eventually cantering away from the danger zone and just missing out on Europa League qualification.
Hazard contributed two goals and three assists in the closing eight games of the campaign to help fuel the late charge for Europe, and has maintained his momentum in the new season, scoring twice in the Bundesliga while also settling nerves by teeing up Raffael’s late winner in the knife-edge DFB Cup tie with Rot-Weiss Essen.
Watch: Hazard holds his nerve to sink Hannover
After teaming up with De Bruyne ahead of their country’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers this week, Hazard told Belgian media Hecking has already had a major influence on his career trajectory. He hopes it’ll continue on an upward curve as he seeks to follow his older brother, Chelsea superstar Eden, to the top of the world game.
“I hope it’ll go as well as with Kevin! I’m happy with the way things are going with him for the moment. He gives me confidence,” said Hazard, who has started all seven Bundesliga matches to date.
“There was a change in the system, now I play more out wide. I hope to have a great season. I have to perform well for my club, and when I get my chance with the national team, I’ll have to take it.”