Chelsea pair impress Hazard

Eden Hazard has given his backing to under-fire Chelsea striker Fernando Torres and tipped Juan Mata to be named Player of the Year.

Last Updated: 07/04/13 at 17:59 Post Comment

Eden Hazard: Believes Juan Mata should be named Player of the Year

Eden Hazard: Believes Juan Mata should be named Player of the Year

Hazard has been impressed by both players in his first season at Stamford Bridge, and has been surprised by the amount of criticism aimed at Torres.

The Spaniard may continue to struggle to reproduce the form he showed earlier in his career, but Hazard says expectations are unrealistic.

"He must be one of the most criticised football players in football, yet he keeps the good work going. I'm impressed," said Hazard.

"People expect 10 goals from him every game. We are lucky to have two top-class forwards with him and Demba Ba. We must make the most of them."

Hazard also feels that fellow playmaker Mata deserves to be recognised as the Premier League's top player after a superb campaign.

Mata was again in good form as Chelsea carved out a 3-1 lead over Rubin Kazan in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday, and Hazard has enjoyed forging an understanding with him.

"It's a pleasure to play alongside Juan. He's one of the best footballers in the Premier League," the Belgian said in the Daily Star Sunday.

"He has that ability to see and make the pass that others wouldn't and sees it faster than others.

"He deserves to be the Player of the Year. Definitely. There are others who have performed very well this season but he's my colleague, so I would back him."

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till reckon Chelsea will go for Khedira as back up for Matic. I think it will turn out to be quite a Mourihno-y window: We'll see the squad players and youth in action pre-season, say things like well, we need not buy anybody and then the club will bid £60m for Pogba and send everybody on loan.

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would love to be a fly on the wall at the meeting between Milner and Rodgers. I don't know if flies can count, but if they can then I would be counting the number of times Rodgers used the word outstanding in his attempts to get Milner to sign.

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ell, it wouldn't be a summer without Arsenal fans fretting over losing a key player, and United throwing their weight around and muscling in on transfer deals which are (apparently) near to completion. If we can't be entertained by the football on the pitch, let's enjoy the silly off-pitch soap opera of the transfer season. Hurrah!

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