Maurizio Sarri has hailed Eden Hazard as a “genius”, adding that he could become the best player in the world if he worked with more intensity.
Hazard has already scored six goals in seven Chelsea appearances this season, including Wednesday’s breath-taking solo strike to seal a 2-1 comeback win at Liverpool in the League Cup third round.
The Belgian playmaker’s blistering form has seen some pundits rank him alongside Barcelona great Lionel Messi and Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo.
But Sarri insists Hazard isn’t there yet because he can still add another layer to his game by training with even more desire and drive.
“I think that he is for sure one of the best (players in the world), but I am absolutely convinced that he can improve,” Sarri told reporters on Friday.
“If he’s able to improve during training maybe he will be able to use and serve at 100 percent.
“Because I think that we have seen only 75, 80 percent of his potential.
“So I think that if he’s able to improve he will be the best in the world.”
Hazard has another chance to showcase his class on the big stage when Liverpool visit Stamford Bridge in the Premier League on Saturday.
Table-topping Liverpool has won all six of their league games, while unbeaten Chelsea is two points behind and a Chelsea victory would be a major statement of intent in the early season.
Asked if Hazard could be voted the best player in the world in a year’s time, Sarri said: “I think so, I think so.
“It’s very difficult to compare him with other players. He’s a genius. He’s unique.
“He’s a genius, technically I think he’s the best. And so I want him to be the best in the world.
“More continuity from the physical point of view, from the mental point of view.
“Because he has the opportunity to improve more, and he can become the best player in the world.”