Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard can be “unstoppable” if he is more selfish and is second only in ability to Lionel Messi, according to team-mate Cesc Fabregas.
Hazard and Fabregas came off the substitutes’ bench to have influential roles in Chelsea’s 4-2 FA Cup semi-final win over Tottenham at Wembley on Saturday.
Belgium playmaker Hazard has rediscovered the scintillating form of Chelsea’s last title-winning season, in 2014-15, to fire the Blues to the top of the Premier League and towards a possible double.
The 26-year-old scored Chelsea’s third against Spurs for his 15th goal of the season, with 14 coming in the league.
“Eden can be whatever he wants to be,” said Fabregas, who was a team-mate of Messi’s at Barcelona.
“Ability wise, there is only one player above him and we all know who he is: Messi.
“Sometimes when we have a counter attack and it’s two against two and he passes the ball, I tell him, ‘You have the capability to score by yourself. Do it’.
“He has to do it more often. I’ve told him many, many times, he needs to be selfish sometimes and have that killer instinct to score more goals.
“I hope – and I’m sure – he will improve in the future. And then he will be unstoppable.”
Chelsea’s loss at Manchester United on Easter Sunday saw the Premier League lead over Spurs cut to four points.
Antonio Conte’s Blues next play on Tuesday at home to Southampton, the first of their final six games which will determine the outcome of the title race.
It was the proximity of the Saints fixture which saw Hazard and Diego Costa start the Wembley clash on the bench, but they were called into action with around 30 minutes remaining.
“One of the very positive things about this season is that every time we had a defeat or a draw, we bounced back really, really quickly,” Fabregas added.
“Every time we had a bad game straight away we bounced back and we didn’t let it affect us. I think that’s a good sign.”