Michael Ballack explains how Chelsea manager has got best out of Eden Hazard

The former Chelsea midfielder discusses how Antonio Conte has got the best out of Eden Hazard

Michael Ballack believes Antonio Conte has helped Eden Hazard to feel appreciated at Chelsea after the midfielder’s return to form.

The Belgium international has scored nine goals and has made three assists in 21 appearances in the Premier League in the 2016-17 season so far.

Hazard was named the 2015 PFA player of the year after he netted 14 times in 38 games in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign under Jose Mourinho.

However, the 25-year-old struggled badly last term as he struggled for confidence and form before finally finding the back of the net at Bournemouth in April.

Speaking to The Daily Mail, ex-Chelsea midfielder Ballack lifted the lid on the key to getting the best out of the Belgian forward.

“Hazard seems like a player who has to be in a good mood to perform well. He has to feel welcome, he has to have a good environment, people have to like him – that’s how he looks, this type of player,” Ballack said.

“It seems like everything works well around him [this season]. If I talk about my experience, if you want to perform 100 per cent, you need trust at the club, with the people you work with and of course you have to work in the right way and I think Conte is doing that.”

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Chelsea are sitting at the top of the Premier League table and eight points clear of their closest rivals Arsenal in the title race.

The west London side will make the trip to title rivals Liverpool in their next top-flight fixture at Anfield next Tuesday.

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