Chelsea FC manager Jose Mourinho has praised Eden Hazard’s development and has also insisted that Kevin De Bruyne is likely to depart from Stamford Bridge.
After a relatively slow start to the season Belgium star Eden Hazard has been putting up some wonderful performances off late. The 23-year-old has already scored eight goals in the league along with five assists. In fact he has produced four goals and three assists in his last seven Premier League matches and is currently the top scorer for the club. This goal scoring form of the Belgium international has been vital for Chelsea considering the poor form of their strikers in the league this season. In fact the trio of Torres, Eto’o and Ba have a combined total of seven goals in the league this season – one less than Hazard.
Mourinho lavished praise on his talismanic winger and stressed on how he has developed over the course of the season. He insisted that Hazard is now training harder and his overall contribution to the side has improved a lot as well.
“He’s progressing in everything. He was known as one of the worst trainers; he’s now become, not one of the best, but a good professional in training. He was known as having lots of quality, which he’s kept, but not being very productive, and at the same time he didn’t have that defensive culture, of knowing how to defend as a team.
“He now works very hard for the team, he uses his initiative in the game and he’s not a player who does a fantastic action and then disappears from the game for 30 minutes. He’s now trying all the time to be influential in our game.
“He has the responsibility of being a top player so knows he has to be there for his team in every match. Even at Derby, he was on the bench, he came on for the last 30 minutes and immediately you could feel he was on the pitch, so this is the kind of player we want.
“It’s been a fantastic evolution for him, the next phase is to play Champions League knockout phase, which brings a lot of pressure on him because it’s knockout. Also he will have the experience of playing at the World Cup, which will be fantastic for him.
“He was training to have some fun; he’s a funny boy, a funny kid, always smiling, always laughing and having a joke. He didn’t have top concentration, it wasn’t a training session looking for an evolution or a training session looking to improve, but at this moment it’s completely different.
“He’s trying to improve collectively and improve his individual qualities. Yesterday, he was working on shooting from positions where he normally appears in the games, specific points where he has chances to shoot at goal.
“Conversations, feedback, demanding more, showing him the way I think is the right way, and even if it isn’t the right way it’s the way he has to follow. I think he’s happy, I think he feels good, I think he feels the evolution in his approach to the game.
“It’s also important we are close to the title because knowing you are there brings a different pressure. You improve with the pressure, if we are 20 points behind Arsenal and he scores three goals it means nothing. If he’s one or two points behind and scores the winning goal in a victory which pushes you closer to the top that means something.” – The Chelsea manager told the press.
Mourinho also rubbished speculations about the future of Eden Hazard at Stamford Bridge and insisted that there is now chance of Chelsea selling him.
“I’m not worried because if two years later he is two or three times better than he was when we bought him, his value in the market is a crazy value.
“On top of that, he’s not a player we are interested in selling. Because of the fact we don’t want to sell and the crazy value he has, I don’t think there’s any chance Eden will go.” – Mourinho added.
But Mourinho did accept that Kevin De Bruyne is likely to depart and that the club is “analysing” the offers for him at the moment.
“He has a chance to go. He’s a player that we’ve had a couple of offers for. We will keep analysing these offers. One of them is coming to a level where we believe it can be a good situation for the player and the club.
“We know he’s a fantastic young player with lots of potential, I can say I would be happy to keep him and develop him, but we also have to analyse the player’s profile, the player’s personality and he wants so much to go that maybe it’s a good option.
“It’s a very good deal for the club from a financial point of view, the club bought him a couple of years ago for a small fee and now we have the possibility to sell him for a very positive amount.
“No bids, zero bids, there is nothing on the table. We’ve had two bids for Kevin which the club are analysing but absolutely nothing in relation to other players in the first team squad.” – He explained.