Gary Neville opens up about Eden Hazard at Chelsea

Gary Neville says Eden Hazard must prove himself to be capable of delivering consistently for Chelsea

Gary Neville believes that Eden Hazard must now prove that he is capable of reaching the same level as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at Chelsea.

The Belgian playmaker appears to be rediscovering his best form for the west London side this season after a campaign to forget last term.

Hazard scored his fifth goal of the season as he netted the opener during Chelsea’s 2-0 win at Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday afternoon.

The 25-year-old came in for relentless criticism last term as both he and his club endured a season to forget, with the Blues ending up in 10th place in the Premier League and without a trophy following Jose Mourinho’s sacking.

And former Manchester United defender Neville feels that it is now time for Hazard to prove that he is able to mix it with the best in the world.

Speaking on the Sky Sports Gary Neville Podcast, the former defender said: “I’m quite tough on Eden Hazard. Not because I dislike him or I’ve got anything personal against him. He is an unbelievable player.

“A player like him should be reaching the level for Bale, Ronaldo and Messi – that is the level I’d put him in. He can’t afford to have seasons like he had last year when you’re at that level.

“He has to build up trust of being a world-class player. It has to be every season.

“The players I’ve mentioned before don’t drop [their level]. They’ve been doing it for seven or eight years. What we’ve seen in these first few months of the season is a player who is devastating and who is back to his best.”

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Chelsea host Everton in the Premier League on Saturday night.

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