When Jose Mourinho criticised Eden Hazard for not doing enough defensively to help out his Chelsea teammates, it was seen by many as a sign that the Portuguese manager was ready to let the winger go this summer.
However, it now appears that all Mourinho was trying to do was make Hazard a better all-round player and get the best out of him. That’s because the Belgium international himself has said that he wants his manager to always let him know when and how to improve.
Earlier this week, the 23-year-old was presented with the Chelsea Player of the Year award. He was handed the award by Mourinho himself, who in a playful manner urged him to improve next season as he wants more from him.
Hazard has now said that he prefers if Mourinho speaks to him like that and always urges him to develop. At 23, he knows very well that he can be much, much better than he already is.
'It's good and it's true’, he told Chelsea’s official website. ‘I would prefer him to speak like this rather than say he's the best and doesn't need to work. I know I have to do better, in training and on the pitch. If I can score more, I will score more and next season I hope I will be better’.
Hazard had a truly great season for Chelsea on a personal level. His Premier League stats below underline that:
Last season in his debut campaign in England, Hazard was brilliant, but this term he took his game to a whole new level. He won the PFA Young Player of the Year for his performances in 2013-14, and was also included in the PFA Team of the Year for the second successive season. In a largely defensive Chelsea side, he was one of the few consistent creative sparks who was a joy to watch every time he took to the pitch.
Mourinho wants Hazard to become a better all-round player and contribute to his team’s defensive duties. Perhaps next season he will, and we will see a whole new and redefined Hazard.