Phil Thompson believes Eden Hazard is the best footballer in the Premier League – but has challenged the Belgium international to stop being a “yo-yo player”.
The Blues forward has made a sensational start to the Premier League season following seven goals in eight games in the English top flight to find a new lease of life under Maurizio Sarri.
Hazard scored his seventh goal in the Premier League season after the Belgian forward broke the deadlock in a 3-0 victory over Southampton at St Mary’s Stadium before the international break.
The 27-year-old has been talked up as one of the world’s best players regularly throughout his Chelsea FC career, but Hazard has always struggled to find a level of consistency.
The Belgian star has particularly struggled in the seasons immediately following title successes to raise questions about his temperament and ability to produce consistent football.
Hazard netted 14 times in their title-winning season under Jose Mourinho in the 2014-15 season but the number 10 managed just five goals in the 2015-16 campaign.
The former Lille star was the top scorer under Antonio Conte in the 2016-17 season as Chelsea FC won the Premier League crown but Hazard was off the pace once again last term.
Former Liverpool FC defender Thompson explained why Hazard still has room to improve despite playing key roles in title triumphs in 2015 and 2017.
“Hazard is the best player in the Premier League,” Thomspon told Sky Sports.
“Sarri was clever easing him back in at the start of the season and he’s getting the best out of him. It’s those seasons after Chelsea win the Premier League that Hazard has let himself down because that’s where greatness stems from – consistency.
“Whether you’re a team or individual, to perform every week at the highest level takes that level of focus which perhaps he hasn’t got, so he’s got to stop being this yo-yo player.”
Hazard was unable to add to his tally when Chelsea FC drew 2-2 with Manchester United at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday afternoon.
The Blues forward had scored twice in Chelsea FC’s home victories over the Red Devils in their last four league meetings in west London but Antonio Rudiger and Ross Barkley found the net for the hosts in a pulsating game.
Hazard has already netted against twice against title rivals Liverpool FC in the Premier League and the League Cup this term.