Frank Lampard makes exciting prediction about Chelsea star Eden Hazard

The former Chelsea legend is backing Eden Hazard to challenge Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo

Chelsea legend Frank Lampard Photo: The Sport Review

Frank Lampard believes Chelsea forward Eden Hazard is on the cusp of establishing himself as a world-class player.

The Belgium international has been a vital player under new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte in the 2016-17 Premier League season.

Hazard has scored 14 times and has made five assists in 30 appearances in the Premier League to help Chelsea build a four-point lead at the top.

The 26-year-old is one of the Premier League’s best players but still ranked behind Barcelona striker Lionel Messi and Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lampard, though, believes Hazard can establish himself as one of Europe’s best players in the next couple of seasons.

“I think he has matured this year in particular after what was a difficult season for him, where he got some criticism,” Lampard told BBC Sport.

“He has come back even better than he was before. For me, he is now moving into the very top bracket of players anywhere in the world.

“Barcelona’s Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid are out on their own but Hazard is moving into that group behind them and, at 26, he is young enough to keep improving and narrow that gap.”

Lampard played alongside Hazard for two seasons at Stamford Bridge after Hazard moved to Chelsea from Lille in 2012.

Chelsea’s record goal-scorer won the Europa League under former Blues boss Rafael Benitez in 2013.

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Conte’s side will take on Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley on Saturday afternoon.

Chelsea are four points clear of title rivals Spurs.

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