Arsenal legend Lauren gave his old club a few pointers on how to stop the “decisive” Eden Hazard ahead of tonight’s Europa League final against Chelsea.
In what is widely expected to be his final game in a Chelsea jersey, Hazard will be keen to end his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge on a glorious note.
Under Maurizio Sarri, the Belgian winger has enjoyed his most prolific season with 16 goals and 15 assists in 37 Premier League matches.
These strong performances have only strengthened his case for a summer switch to Real Madrid. In fact, the club’s president Florentino Perez has now confirmed his interest in Hazard.
Therefore, Lauren is wary of the threat a fired up Hazard could pose for Arsenal in tonight’s final at Baku.
But the former Cameroonian full-back believes he can be stopped if Arsenal adopt an intelligent and focused approach against a player comparable to Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs.
“Being very smart. He is an unpredictable player,” replied Lauren to Goal, when asked how Hazard can be stopped.
“I always compare him with Ryan Giggs. They are players who, in addition to being skilled, are intelligent.
“They combine well with the midfield – at times they look for you in the centre instead of staying on the wing.
“You have to be very intelligent and be 100 per cent focused because, even if you think you have them controlled, they are incredible footballers.
“Hazard, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Dennis] Bergkamp and [Thierry] Henry are players who see the play fractions of a second before you.
“You have to be very focused and wait for them not to be at their best because when a player of that quality has his day it is difficult to stop them.
“They have something different that is innate and when they are inspired, they do it. You have to concentrate for 90 or 120 minutes of the game.”
Hazard has scored five goals and provided two assists in 15 games against Arsenal in all competitions.
The Europa League final will begin at 21:00 (CET) tonight.