Hazard joined Chelsea from Lille for a reported £32m in the summer of 2012 – a figure which may have raised a few eyebrows at the time, but now clearly looks to have been a bargain.
The former Lille star has started 21 Premier League games this season – Chelsea’s 3rd highest behind Petr Cech and John Terry. The Belgian international has netted nine times, assisting with a further five, and has completed 78 successful dribbles – 57 more than Chelsea’s next highest player Ramires.
Despite not quite reaching the level of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Hazard’s performances have impressed boss Mourinho.
According to Portuguese website A bola, Mourinho believes that Hazard is a match for the two greatest footballers of the current generation, but to win the Ballon d’Or, Hazard will need help of a non-footballing kind:
'Is he (Hazard) able to reach the level of Messi or Cristiano ? At the moment I say yes, because his evolution has been fantastic, he has time to become a great, great player.
'Eden is 23-years-old, Cristiano is 28 and Messi 26. He has great room for improvement and plenty of ambition.
'However, if Hazard wants to win the Golden Ball he will have to build a political entourage. Otherwise he will never win the Golden Ball. Though that's another story'.
Whether Hazard can realistically gives the likes of Ronaldo and Messi a run for their money remains to be seen, but the Belgian clearly has a manager who sees his potential and believes in him.
Will Eden Hazard go on to become one of the greatest players of his generation ?
image: © Ben Sutherland