Eden Hazard’s impact at Chelsea is comparable to that of Gianfranco Zola and makes him a legend regardless of whether he leaves the club or not this summer, says Didier Drogba.
Following Zinedine Zidane’s return as manager, speculation linking Hazard to Real Madrid has only grown stronger over the past month.
The French coach is a known admirer of Hazard’s and reportedly hopes to sign him up during the summer transfer window.
Helping matters for Zidane is the fact that Hazard will be out of contract at Chelsea in June 2020, which leaves the club with the choice of either selling their star man this year or allow him to leave for nothing next summer should he refuse a new deal.
The Blues have attempted to convince Hazard to commit his long-term future to them by signing a new lucrative five-year contract. Adding to their woes is FIFA’s two transfer-window ban, which makes holding on to the Belgian more important than ever.
But the likelihood of Chelsea successfully tying down Hazard’s future appears to be not very promising after he declared his dream of playing for Real earlier this season.
Despite growing concerns over the 28-year-old, however, Drogba believes he merits a place among the Chelsea legends for all he’s achieved since arriving from OSC Lille in 2012.
“He has become more clinical,” The former striker told Goal.
“It comes with age as well. He is very efficient and I am really happy to see that. He is leading the team, carrying the team on his shoulders and he is doing that well.
“He is someone who has got very high expectations of himself and his team-mates because he wants to win.
“Sometimes this pushes you to do a little bit more to do well because you want your team-mates to get to your level. This happens sometimes, but the more he plays in these big games, he reads the game better.
“He is a legend [regardless of what happens], look at what he achieved in six years at the club. He won the league twice, won the FA Cup, won Player of the Year. We are talking about Eden Hazard. Please!
“He brought something that we hadn’t seen for such a long time. The closest I can bring to him if I compare, if I may, is [Gianfranco] Zola. The talent to dribble, to make the difference and dribble one-versus-one. That’s him.”
The 28-year-old’s Belgium team-mate Thibaut Courtois, who left Chelsea for Los Blancos last summer, is also hoping to see Hazard join him at the Santiago Bernabeu.