Chelsea's Eden Hazard ranks Arsenal flop Gervinho among most skilful players he has faced

Hazard Dribble - Chelsea v Maribor

The Chelsea attacker singled out his former Lille teammate Gervinho for praise, along with stars from Manchester City and Everton.

Eden Hazard may have raised more than a few eyebrows among Arsenal and Chelsea fans alike after ranking Gervinho as one of the most skilful players he has ever played with or against.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with the official Chelsea website, the Belgian singled out the Ivorian for a surprising bit of praise, as well as name checking several of his fellow Belgian stars.

Asked to name his most skilful teammate or opponent Hazard said:

"I played with Gervinho at Lille, he had a lot of skill and he was very quick as well."

He then went on to highlight several skilful players within the Belgian national team setup, including players from England, Spain and Italy:

"In the national team we have a lot of them: Yannick Carrasco, a young player at Atletico Madrid, Dries Mertens, Kevin De Bruyne, Kevin Mirallas, they are all very good and like to show their skills in matches."

But while few will bat an eyelid at his decision to point to the likes of Manchester City new boy De Bruyne and want-away Everton star Mirallas, it’s Gervinho’s name that is the most surprising.

For one thing, the Ivorian is something of a figure of fun/hate among Chelsea fans, having struggled for form with their London rivals Arsenal.

Gooners, meanwhile, will be confused by his selection given the dismal time the African endured at the Emirates.

However, Hazard evidently has some inside knowledge of the winger, having played alongside Gervinho under Rudi Garcia and Roma.

And with Garcia getting the best out of the Arsenal flop since his move to the Stadio Olimpico a couple of years back, it may not be as unusual a choice as first thought!

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