Southampton boss and former Chelsea player Mark Hughes has opined that Eden Hazard has to wait till he is all greyed out before he can be considered as Chelsea’s greatest ever player.
The Belgian has been in sparkling form for the Blues this term and has scored 7 goals in 9 games in all competitions.
This has resulted in Hazard being considered for a place among the best ever footballers to grace the club with their talents.
Chelsea face Southampton on Sunday at St Mary’s. It can be recalled that Hughes spent three years at Chelsea in the 90s and played alongside Gianfranco Zola.
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He has admitted he is a big fan of the Chelsea playmaker but considers it too sudden to start discussing Hazard’s place in Chelsea’s history of best players.
“Debates of that type are probably better made when he’s a little bit older and got grey hair like me and then everybody can discuss the merits,” he said.
“He’s an outstanding player. You look at his stats this year, he’s had an impact in almost every game he’s played.
“The key is to stop their key players having opportunities. (It is) very difficult in the Premier League to stop a team having any chances – it’s very, very rare.
“We’ve just got to hope the chances fall to someone else other than Eden Hazard and hopefully they’ll have an off day.”
Speaking on the possibility of Chelsea mounting a strong challenge for the Premier League title, he said:
“I think Chelsea will always be a (title) contender, you see the quality of their squad,” said Hughes.
“The strength in depth they’ve got is comparable to the other top teams. They will go close. They’ve got a new manager and it seems when Chelsea change management that initial season seems to be the one that they are very strong in. They will have a strong season and go very close.