Chelsea’s Eden Hazard ‘still needs to adapt to the Premier League’

Chelsea interim boss Rafael Benítez believes playmaker Eden Hazard still needs to adapt to the pace of the Premier League

eden hazard
Eden Hazard scored 20 goals in 38 appearances for Lille last season Photo: Soccer.ru, via Wikimedia

eden hazard

Rafael Benítez has warned Eden Hazard that he still needs to adapt to the pace of the Premier League after swapping Lille for Chelsea in the summer.

The 21-year-old Belgium playmaker hit the ground running with a number of eye-catching performances for the Blues in the early stages of the season but his impact has dwindled in recent weeks, coinciding with Chelsea’s dramatic slump in form.

Benítez, who has succeeded Roberto Di Matteo at the Stamford Bridge helm following the Italian’s dismissal, believes the midfielder still needs to settle into his new role with the west Londoners.

“I saw the player’s evolution in Lille. I was following him when he was 19 and he was a good player but after that he was even better and he can change a game,” said Benítez ahead of Chelsea’s crunch Champions League clash with Nordsjaelland on Wednesday.

“He is a great player but he has to adapt also to the tempo of the Premier League, it is not the same way to play [as in France].

“At Lille he knew he was the key player and the way he was playing was with this feeling – ‘I am the best player and I will do what I want to do and it will be right’.

“Here you come to the maximum level in the Premier League and Champions League. You have to be always at your best and sometimes you cannot make the difference.

“It is something that he will see and learn from and he is doing well, but he can still do better because he is a great player.”

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