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Eden Hazard

'Hazard the most gifted player in Chelsea history'

10:13 BST 17/09/2018
Eden Hazard Chelsea Cardiff
Ex-Blues striker Tony Cascarino insists the winger is the greatest talent to ever play at Stamford Bridge after his hat-trick against Cardiff City

Former Chelsea forward Tony Cascarino believes that Eden Hazard is 'the most gifted' player to ever wear the famous blue shirt.

The Belgian produced a match-winning display against Neil Warnock's Cardiff City on Saturday, scoring three goals to take his overall tally to five in as many appearances at the start of the new Premier League season.

The 27-year-old joined Chelsea in 2012 from Lille and has since gone on to make over 300 appearances for the club, contributing 94 goals.

During his six-year spell in England, Hazard has established himself as one of the most exciting attacking midfielders in European football, impressing fans and experts all over the globe with his incredible dribbling skills and quick thinking in the final third of the pitch.

After playing a starring role for Belgium during the World Cup finals in Russia this summer, the playmaker's stock has never been higher and it seems as though he has returned to club duty with a new lease of life.

The arrival of Maurizio Sarri as the Blue's new manager may have a lot to do with that, given the fact he has allowed Hazard to take up a new more forward-thinking role in the team, which has so far paid dividends in the early stages of the 2018-19 campaign.

According to Cascarino's comments in his column for The Times, the midfielder is the best footballer to ever play for Chelsea, as he beamed: "Chelsea have had many exceptional players, from Peter Osgood to John Terry and Didier Drogba, but Eden Hazard is the most gifted in the club’s history."

The pundit continued by alluding to speculation linking Hazard with a move to European champions Real Madrid during the transfer window, stating: "He has a bit of everything, the full package, and keeping him at Stamford Bridge was the best bit of business in the summer transfer window. He made no fuss about staying despite Real Madrid’s interest and has got on with the job."

Cascarino then finished by suggesting that Hazard still doesn't get enough credit for his impact on English football, adding: "His goal ratio is not far off Drogba’s despite not being a striker. He has won trophies and player of the year awards but he still does not receive the praise that he deserves.

"Maybe because he switched off a little under José Mourinho he is not viewed as highly as he should be, but Chelsea fans should know that they are watching not only one of the best players in Europe at the moment, but the best they have had.”

Chelsea begin their Europa League campaign on Thursday night against PAOK in Greece, before resuming their domestic duties on Sunday against West Ham.