Eden Hazard has been lauded as the best young player in the world by manager Jose Mourinho, but at £32 million, he is no longer the most expensive midfielder in London.
That mantle was taken over the summer by Mesut Ozil, who arrived at title rivals Arsenal for £42 million.
Ozil is two years older than Hazard, and has the experience of already playing at a World Cup and for Real Madrid.
Both are equally important to their respective Premier League teams, and it's fair to say neither Chelsea or Arsenal would quite be the same without them.
While different in that Ozil likes to play a more central role, and Hazard out wide, the impact and performances of the two can easily be compared.
Here is a look at how the duo stack up in respective areas:
|Player||Team||Key Passes per game Avg||Assist||Assist from Open play||Pass completion % in final third||Cross completion %||Apps||Mins|
German international Ozil clearly has the edge here, with more key passes per game and more assists despite playing in five less matches than Hazard. He also boasts more from open play, and has a far superior cross completion rate, and better pass completion rate in where it matters, in the final third of the pitch - an area in which he has made 76 more passes than any other Premier League player.
|Player||Team||Total Scoring Att||% of Shots On Target||Goals||Hit Woodwork||Apps||Mins|
This is an area of Mesut Ozil's game in which Arsene Wenger admits his star needs to improve. Hazard has had almost exactly twice as many shots as Ozil, and as a result has scored more than twice as many goals. Ozil's shooting accuracy is superior in terms of efforts hitting the target, so perhaps the German is just too unselfish and needs to shoot on goal more often?
|Name||Team||Effective Clearance||Won Tackle||Interception Won||Apps||Mins|
While not essential stats for attacking players, they help illustrate an overall effectiveness of a player - and work rate from players in forward positions is a trait Jose Mourinho demands. Hazard proves his worth here, making more tackles and interceptions than the Arsenal star. some of this can be attributed to having to play out wide, where there is more onus on him to track back.
There is no clear winner in terms of who comes out on top, as both players are superior in different areas - yet equally as essential to their teams. What is clear is that Hazard, a player at 23 who is two years younger, can easily hold his own compared to Ozil, a player who was nominated for last year's Ballon d'Or - and even placed in the top three by no less than eventual winner Cristiano Ronaldo.
If Hazard continues his upwards trajectory and carries on performing the same way he has done in 2013/14, there is no reason why he should not find himself nominated for the award next year.
image: © Ben Sutherland