French sports paper L’Equipe has conducted a poll regarding the best young player in the world.
L’Equipe’s conducted poll included a host of top names such as Mario Gotze, Neymar, Raphael Varane and Arsenal duo Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshire.
To put that number into perspective, there were 15 participants and the next highest was Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, who received a respectable 22%. Arsenal’s duo Ramsey and Wilshire counted for just 3% combined and Hazard’s fellow Chelsea star Oscar received just 1%.
Eden Hazard has been nothing short of brilliant this season. The 23-year-old has started 23 Premier League appearances, finding the net nine times and providing a further five assists.
The Belgian wizard has lit up certain matches with his close control and ability to breeze past the fullbacks – demonstrated perfectly during Chelsea’s 1-0 victory over Manchester City as right-back Pablo Zabaleta could not deal with the Blues’ forward. Over the season, Hazard has completed 92 successful dribbles – 68 more than Chelsea’s next highest Ramires.
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho recently lauded his playmaker in an interview with ESPN, also describing Hazard as the best young player in the world with the potential to emulate La Liga duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi:
"I keep saying he has to improve. He needs to have his feet on the ground. Ronaldo and Messi are Ronaldo and Messi. Eden Hazard is probably the best young player in the world with legs to go there, but give him time."
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Dortmund) 1%
Mario Balotelli (AC Milan) 2%
Thibaut Courtois (Atlético Madrid) 2%
Julian Draxler (Schalke 04) 1%
Mario Götze (Bayern Munich) 6%
Antoine Griezmann (Real Sociedad) 2%
Eden Hazard (Chelsea) 42%
Neymar (FC Barcelona) 10%
Oscar (Chelsea) 1%
Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal) 1%
Marco Reus (Dortmund) 3%
Paul Pogba (Juventus) 22%
Florian Thauvin (Marseille) 3%
Raphaël Varane (Real Madrid) 2%
Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) 2%
image: © Ben Sutherland