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Mourinho tips Hazard to be 'best in world'

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Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Picture credit: Nigel Roddis / REUTERS

Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Picture credit: Nigel Roddis / REUTERS

Chelsea's Eden Hazard. Picture credit: Nigel Roddis / REUTERS

CHELSEA may be closing in on bringing Nemanja Matic back to Stamford Bridge, but manager Jose Mourinho feels in Eden Hazard the Blues already have a player capable of becoming one of the "best in the world".

Serbia international Matic (25) left the Blues in 2011 as a makeweight in the deal that brought in Brazilian David Luiz, but after two years with Benfica, Chelsea look ready to bring him back for a second stint at the club.

In Hazard, however, Mourinho is confident Chelsea bought a player of undoubted potential from Lille last summer, with the 23-year-old scoring 11 goals so far in an impressive campaign.

Mourinho said: "Eden can become one of the best players in the world. Now he sees his football and profession with different eyes.

"He understood how there is a gap between the talent and the performance and a gap between the occasional performance and the permanent stability at a high level.

"He now understands how he can fill this gap. He trains much better, he concentrates much better. Tactically, he has had a big evolution.

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"He understands how to put his qualities on the surface of the team. He understands the best way to hide his weaknesses.

"He is 23 and is playing in a Chelsea side trying to win the Premier League, also the Champions League, and is going to the World Cup with Belgium.

"He has in his hands all the tools to fill these gaps.

"But now he is trying to go to a different level, we are helping him and he is doing it step by step."

Key to Chelsea's hopes of securing success this season could well depend on how much business Mourinho can push through this month.

Confirmation of Matic's transfer is expected imminently after the midfielder told the Portuguese press he will not be wearing the Benfica shirt again this season.

"I have played my last game here," Matic said. "I want to thank all the people at the club. Benfica will forever be in my heart."


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