Chelsea v Manchester United: Is Eden Hazard the best player in the Premier League?
Before the big Premier League match between Chelsea and Manchester United, we asked football experts on Saturday whether Eden Hazard was the best player in the league.
Saturday marks the return to Stamford Bridge for José Mourinho, who had two episodes as manager of Chelsea, with the new boss Maurizio Sarri against the Portuguese for the first time in England.
But all eyes on Chelsea this season have been on Hazard, who is the top scorer in the Premier League with seven goals. The 27-year-old is expected to play in the Belgian showdown with the Netherlands on the red Sky Sports Football button on Tuesday.
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Before a meeting with Mourinho, we asked our experts if Hazard was the best player of the highest level in England …
Matt Le Tissier
The danger is above all others in the league so far this season. I saw him in Southampton when he had not had his best game, but he was still a great danger every time he got the ball.
He only needs to accumulate 20 goals in two or three seasons together, at the same time contributing in the same way as him, and then he will be closer to Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
I would say yes. He is the top scorer, he is making things happen. A few weeks ago, I would have said he was the best player in the world, but then Messi gave this performance to Tottenham at Wembley.
The problem with Hazard and I’m a big fan of him, is that he can disappear for six months at a time. You’ve seen him twice at Chelsea, last season, for example.
Messi does not do that. It may be missing for a game, but Hazard did it in great seasons when it did not work well for his team. I do not think I’ve seen Messi play two bad games, but Hazard missed the big games last season, and in which Mourinho was fired (season 2015-16).
You must adjust its consistency, more than anything. It has been great this season, but we have seen it in the last victory of the championship in Chelsea.
Hazard is the best player in the Premier League. Sarri was smart to bring him back to the start of the season and is getting the best of it. It was those seasons after Chelsea’s victory in the Premier League that Hazard retired because that’s where greatness comes from consistency.
Whether you are a team or an individual, playing every week at the highest level requires a level of concentration that he may not have, so he must stop being that yo-yo player.
He has to do it in the Champions League, as simple as that. He has pieces on the bigger stage, but nothing is consistent. Technically, he is beautiful. He is the best footballer in the Premier League and the most exciting.
But it goes from fabulous to medium alternately, so it must do so in the Champions League. Whether in Chelsea or in Real Madrid is another story.
Hazard says he has to move to Spain to win the Golden Ball but insists he will not leave Chelsea in January.
Watch Hazard in action while Chelsea faces Manchester United live in Premier League from 11:30 on Saturday.