Two years ago, when Eden Hazard and Chelsea were dominating the Premier League and looked to be starting a new dynasty, much of the talk around Chelsea’s biggest star was whether he was ready and wiling to take that final evolutionary step and rise to the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He hasn’t yet — last season’s problems certainly not helping in that regard — but he must be doing quite alright this season if these sorts of conversations, as annoying as they may be, are back.
Here’s Cesc Fàbregas, who knows first-hand what it’s like to play with Messi, on what Hazard needs to do take that next logical step.
“Eden can be whatever he wants to be. Ability wise, there is only one player above him and we all know who he is: Messi.”
“Sometimes when we have a counter attack and it's two against two and he passes the ball, I tell him, 'You have the capability to score by yourself. Do it'. He has to do it more often. I've told him many, many times, he needs to be selfish sometimes and have that killer instinct to score more goals. I hope — and I'm sure — he will improve in the future. And then he will be unstoppable."
-Cesc Fàbregas; source: Sky
Unsurprisingly, what Hazard would have to do is score more goals (and take more shots in the first place). Hazard himself talked about that earlier this season, too, so it’s hardly a new or shocking suggestion. But while Fàbregas might be sure that this will happen, at this point, I’m not so sure. Hazard is who he is and that’s why we love him. While he did take more shots at the start of the season, he’s more or less regressed to his normal amounts. And that’s probably okay. He’s no Messi and he’s no Cristiano, but as long as he leads Chelsea to victory, he doesn’t have to be.