Eden Hazard showing 'Next Cristiano Ronaldo' form at Chelsea

Eden Hazard 2

Chelsea's Belgian magician Eden Hazard is showing the consistency and unpredictability which made him Europe's most sought after player last summer.

Eden Hazard arrived at Chelsea with one heck of a reputation, after dominating Ligue One with Lille and being bought for £32 million by Chelsea.

The biggest tag he had lauded upon him was a comparison with Cristiano Ronaldo; and last summer he even said he loves to watch the Portuguese superstar in action.

It is easy to see why the two have been compared. Both have quick feet, mesmerise defenders with their dribbling ability, and can play across the front line.

Both can score from any position with either foot, and have the ability to turn a match in their team's favour even when they are not playing particularly well.

Hazard was magnificent against West Ham on Sunday, putting on a highlight reel performance, complete with a Rabona cross which while it did not quite find a teammate, was visually spectacular and one of which Ronaldo would have been proud.

Both are showmen, and you will be hard pushed to find a footballer at or under the age of 22 who compares for favourably with the Real Madrid superstar than Chelsea's Hazard.

Hazard's statistics this season have been sensational, but at the beginning of last month we did have a question for the Belgian. 

It appeared his productivity - measured in terms of goals and assists, was outweighing his general standard of performance. He was drifting through games, delivering the odd moment of magic which would turn a game, without dominating in the fashion you would like him to.

With the season entering a crucial phase, we called on him to step it up and deliver, particularly in big games, and he has certainly answered our criticism.

Hazard has a total of 12 goals and 21 assists to his name; with two goals and two assists coming already this month.

He netted an important goal to fuel a fightback at Old Trafford as well as netting against West Ham at the weekend, and created a goal in the Europa comeback win against Steaua.

But it has not just been his impact which has been notable, his entire level of performance has upped. When you think back to the ball boy incident against Swansea, ever since he returned from the three-match suspension for his red card he has been in superb form.

Some might say it is almost 'Ronaldo-like'. If Chelsea do finish third and lift silverware in either of the two cups they remain in, you can bet on Hazard playing a central part.

How good can Hazard become? Is he better than Ronaldo was at 22?

image: © Ben Sutherland

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