Chelsea star can replace Messi, Ronaldo as world’s best, claims ex-midfielder

The Liverpool legend believes Chelsea star Eden Hazard can become the world's best player

Chelsea star Eden Hazard Photo: Nike

Eden Hazard has the talent to take over the mantle as the world’s best footballer from Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, according to Graeme Souness.

The Belgium international has made a brilliant return from a serious ankle problem after the attacker missed the start of the 2017-18 season.

Hazard scored twice in Chelsea’s 3-1 win against Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge on Saturday evening to take his tally to five Premier League goals this term.

The 26-year-old has now scored eight goals and has made four assists in 18 appearances in all competitions for the west London outfit this term.

Hazard scored 16 times in the Premier League last season to help Chelsea win the top-flight crown ahead of Tottenham Hotspur under Antonio Conte.

The Belgian forward netted 14 goals in Chelsea’s title-winning campaign in the 2014-15 season to win the PFA Premier League player of the year.

Former Liverpool and Tottenham midfielder Souness believes Hazard is capable of emulating Messi and Ronaldo as the world’s best footballer.

“When you think of the players who can take the mantle from the two top players at the moment – Messi and Ronaldo – Hazard comes into that category. He is that good,” Souness told Sky Sports.

“His best years are ahead of him. My only criticism of him is that sometimes he’s not bang at it, but when he is in the mood he was today he is unplayable.

“The truly great players become unplayable, and when he is at it he certainly is great.

“You can set all the bear traps and obstacles for him but, like all the great players, he finds a solution to what’s put in front of him.

“He’s among a handful of players who you can say are unplayable on their day.”

Hazard has won two Premier League titles, the Europa League and the League Cup during a five-season spell at the west London outfit.

The Belgian forward has been linked with a potential move to La Liga giants Real Madrid regularly over the past two or three seasons.

MORE: Latest Chelsea news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Thomas Tuchel
Glen Johnson names the two signings Chelsea FC need to make
Thomas Tuchel
Tony Cascarino raves about Chelsea FC striker Olivier Giroud
Ian Wright
Ian Wright names the signing Man United must make
Mikel Arteta
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Chelsea FC v Man United
Thomas Tuchel
Glen Johnson names the two signings Chelsea FC need to make
Thomas Tuchel
Tony Cascarino raves about Chelsea FC striker Olivier Giroud
Ian Wright
Ian Wright names the signing Man United must make
Mikel Arteta
Mark Lawrenson reveals his prediction for Leicester City v Arsenal
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature