Maurizio Sarri believes Eden Hazard is only showing 80 per cent of his potential and told the Chelsea forward he needs to train harder if he is to become the best in the world.
Hazard has been in stunning form this season with six goals and two assists in all competitions this season, but Sarri believes there is significant room for improvement ahead of Chelsea’s huge clash with Liverpool on Saturday.
Asked if the Belgian is the best in the world, Sarri said:
‘Maybe, I don’t know. I think that he is for sure one of the best. But I am absolutely convinced that he can improve.
‘If he’s able to improve during the training, maybe he will be able to use himself at 100 per cent because, I think that we have seen only 70-80 per cent of his potential. I think that if he is able to improve, he will be the best in the world.’
He added: ‘For example, he can improve with more intensity in training. I think (if he does that, he could be voted the best in the world). It’s very difficult to compare him with other players. He is a genius, I think. It’s very difficult. He’s unique.
‘It’s a very interesting challenge, I think. He has a lot to give. A lot to give to himself, to the team, to the staff. And I want everything.’
Chelsea face Liverpool for the second time in four days having beaten them 2-1 in the Carabao Cup on Wednesday.
Sarri played down the significance of that result in relation to the league, where he believes Liverpool are now ‘ready’ to win the title for the first time in the Premier League era.
He said: ‘Tomorrow will be another match in another competition, with different starting XI. So I think, maybe, they can increase the determination after Wednesday.
‘It was a difficult match on Wednesday, and it will be a very difficult match tomorrow. They are a top level team. They have worked with the same coach for four seasons. I think that they are ready now to win. To win the Premier League.’
Antonio Rudiger will need a late assessment before being ruled in or out of the fixture after limping off against West Ham.