Jose Mourinho Is Right, Chelsea's Eden Hazard Is the World's Finest Youngster

Garry Hayes@@garryhayesFeatured ColumnistFebruary 9, 2014

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The love-fest continued at Chelsea on Saturday.

Chants of "Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho" echoed around Stamford Bridge as Chelsea leapfrogged Arsenal to take top spot in the Premier League with a 3-0 victory over Newcastle United.

There was even a moment during the first half when all Blues fans inside the stadium took to their feet to give their manager an impromptu standing ovation. 

"Stand up for the Special One," they sang. When Eden Hazard completed his hat-trick with a penalty on 63 minutes, there was an extra name added to their songs of praise. And rightly so.

The affection shown for Mourinho was rousing, a sign of the harmony the Portuguese has brought back to west London. Hazard's applause when he was substituted late on was no different.

Alastair Grant/Associated Press

After a terrific display against the Geordies, the Belgian reinforced his importance to this Chelsea team and the crowd showed that they are only too aware of the talent they have on the field. 

So too is Mourinho.

"I have to say yes, but maybe not," was Mourinho's tongue-in-cheek response to Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker when he stated how impressive Hazard has been this season.

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 19: Chelsea manager Jose Mouinho (R) gives instructions to Eden Hazard from the touchline during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and Cardiff City at Stamford Bridge on October 19, 2013 in London, England.  (Phot
Scott Heavey/Getty Images

"This player didn't get one single award from the Barclays Premier League for Player of the Month. I see players getting that award month after month and this kid has empty pockets.

"He's the best young player in the world. Under 23, under 24, he is for sure the best in the world and if he continues in this direction, who knows where he can arrive?"

Hazard's confidence was already booming on the back of scoring his first hat-trick in English football. His manager's words will have put it up a notch or two.

Mourinho has been spouting plenty in recent weeks about Chelsea's title hopes, that his team is a little horse against two stallions in Manchester City and Arsenal.

He went one better after the Newcastle win, describing City as a Jaguar car that cannot have learner plates on its rear.

Clint Hughes/Associated Press

It's all fanciful, providing the media with nothing but humorous headlines. His views on Hazard are the real deal, however.

There isn't another player of the Belgian's age in world football doing what he is at the moment.

Hazard is making a mockery of defences, taunting opponents. He was clinical against Newcastle, and just five days previous, he did the same to City at the Etihad Stadium.

Branislav Ivanovic was the hero of the hour with his goal in the 1-0 win last Monday, yet Hazard's performance stood out the most. He displays probing runs, vision and ability to hold off even the biggest of defenders and drive at the heart of defence.

He is putting teams on the back foot from the referee's first whistle, and while Mourinho may be concerned with his lack of firepower on his strikes, he needn't when Hazard is in this type of form.

At 23 years old, the Belgian is now a senior player at Stamford Bridge. He is demanding possession, making things happen. And if he continues, he is going to deliver Chelsea the Premier League trophy—the very thing Mourinho reckons is beyond his reach.

Lille thought they were doing good business when they sold Hazard to Chelsea for £32 million in the summer of 2012. How they must be ruing that decision now.

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes


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