Chelsea assistant manager Gianfranco Zola has hailed Eden Hazard as “one of the best in the world” and it is tough to argue with the Blues legend.
Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi have rightly been lauded as the planet’s top players for the past decade and there have been few to challenge them, with the duo monopolising the Ballon d’Or since 2008.
However, Belgium ace Hazard has shown over six previous years at Stamford Bridge that he is ready to take over that mantle and his displays in the early part of the current campaign only back that up.
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Now 27, the talented forward leapt to the attention of European football during his time at Lille and it was the west Londoners who managed to snap him up in 2012 when other clubs were also in the frame.
There have been plenty of rumours that he was set to sign for Real Madrid but the Premier League outfit have managed to hold on to their prized asset and are reaping the rewards as result.
His solo goal in Wednesday’s 2-1 Carabao Cup triumph over Liverpool moved commentators and pundits to hail him as the ‘best player’ in England, and Zola agrees.
“Not only is Hazard one of the best in the Premier League – if not the best – but he is one of the best in Europe and the world,” said the former Chelsea star. “In my opinion we haven’t seen the best of him yet. He is remarkable.”
Hazard has now bagged 74 top-flight goals in the blue shirt, with five from six outings in the league this term and his target will doubtless be to hit the magic 20 mark for the season.
He has yet to do that, with 16 in the 2016-17 season his best return to date, but at his current rate, that total could be surpassed with ease.