Hazard entered the tournament off the back of an excellent season with Chelsea and is considered one of the most talented players in a Belgium squad full of highly regarded individuals, but the young attacker has not yet been able to replicate his club form for his national team.
Wilmots sees Hazard as a potentially decisive figure for Belgium against the USA, but only if he can reveal some of his undoubted quality.
"Eden wants to do more, he can bring us more," the coach said. "Everyone knows that. So now I'm just waiting to see it and I'm not trying to put any pressure on him. I would like him to be a leader on the pitch even if he is just 23."
Belgium was occasionally lackluster in attack during the group stage, but Wilmots is confident that Hazard can inject some much-needed quality to the Europeans’ offense.
"He can dictate the game, find the overlaps and score goals," Wilmots said. "That's what he told me when we talked about it. But between saying and doing there is always a gap. And there is the opponent: Will he leave you enough space?
"He was very dangerous against Algeria. I'm counting on him — and so is Belgium — but I think it's all together that we will find the solution."