Sarri welcomes Hazard surprise

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri has no doubts that Blues forward Eden Hazard is already one of the best players in Europe and can still improve further.

The Belgium international completed a hat-trick as the Londoners saw off Cardiff City 4-1 at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, with his performance leaving Sarri purring with the quality on display.

And the Italian says he has been surprised in a good way by seeing Hazard close up for the first time.

He told reporters: "He can become maybe the best player in Europe in the next two years. He will improve by spending less time a long way away from goal.

"I thought Hazard was one of the best players in Europe, but now I'm changing my mind, maybe he's the best now. I also think he can improve more.

"When we have the ball in our half and touch it five or six times, with these actions he spends a lot of energy when he can have more energy in the last 20 or 25 metres.

"I think Hazard could score 30 or 35 goals, I think he can do it. Yesterday I said to him that for me he can score 40 goals, but he has to spend less energy far from the opposition goal and play in the last 25 metres."

Hazard joined the Blues in the summer of 2012 from French side Lille and has since scored 94 goals in 305 appearances in all competitions, while he has netted 27 goals in 94 outings for the Belgium national team.

Chelsea are 9/1 to win the Premeir League this season, while they are 7/1 to lift the FA Cup and 11/2 to triumph in the Europa League.

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