Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla has said that Chelsea winger Eden Hazard is among the Premier League’s best and could rival renowned stars Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Belgian international winger was supposedly close to joining the Gunners and fellow North London rivals Tottenham Hotspur before moving to Stamford Bridge for a reported £32 million fee in 2012.
Although it remains to be seen just how close Arsene Wenger was to signing the Blues ace, Hazard has proven over the past two years just how costly an error that could have been.
His stock has grown increasingly while in West London prompting many observers to draw parallels with renowned superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
While the gap between those two and the rest has been evident in recent years, Cazorla feels that his rival has the potential to reach such heights as he told the Fourfourtwo magazine of the 23-year-old’s brilliance.
“I’d start with [Eden] Hazard. He’s a spectacular player. He’s different to the norm and I think if he wants to, he could get very close to the level of Neymar, Cristiano and Messi,” he explained.
“If he stays consistent and is ambitious he has the technical qualities to be one of the best players in the game.”
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As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Hazard’s attacking intuitions are brilliantly illustrated by his effectiveness to torment the opposition.
After 13 Premier League matches this season, he has averaged 0.31 goals, 2.08 shots and 2.31 key passes per match.
Arguably his most impressive attribute, however, is his wizardry wing play and his abilities to beat several defenders on mazy runs – demonstrated by his average 4.77 successful dribbles per game.
Hazard has made a total of 128 appearances in all competitions for Jose Mourinho’s side, scoring 35 goals and helping the club win the Europa League in 2013.