Eden Hazard is on another level this season.
The Belgian has showcased his world-class talent time and time again in recent seasons, establishing himself as one of the world’s best in doing so.
Hazard missed the beginning of the 2017/18 campaign with an ankle injury which he suffered while on international duty with the Belgium national team in June. It took him a few games to shed his rust – but he returned a better, and more complete, player than ever.
Since his return to action Hazard has found the back of the net on eight occasions in a Chelsea shirt, as well as providing six assists for his teammates. It has always been his direct goal contribution which has prevented him from being in consideration for the Ballon D’Or – but no longer.
With Cristiano Ronaldo way off the pace this term, Hazard has a genuine chance of breaking into the top three in the Ballon D’Or rankings. Lionel Messi and Neymar are both shoe-ins, but if Hazard is able to replicate these electric performances on the European stage, he deserves to be in the conversation.
Hazard has also led Chelsea to two Premier League titles in the past three years. N’Golo Kante received his fair share of adulation last term, but it was the former who continually rose to the occasion and pulled his side through difficult moments.
The overwhelming majority of the Chelsea faithful would consider Hazard the best player in the Premier League. Who else compares? The likes of Harry Kane, Sergio Aguero and Paul Pogba are often put forward, but none of those can match Hazard in terms of raw talent and their overall influence on games.
The Premier League is the most competitive out of Europe’s top five leagues, and Hazard has made it his hunting ground in recent years. If he continues to play in this manner, winning the Ballon D’Or will no longer be merely a pipe dream.