Eden Hazard tips Chelsea team-mate to become ‘one of the best in the world’

Chelsea star Eden Hazard believes Ross Barkley can become one of the best midfielders in the world at Stamford Bridge.

Barkley scored his first goal for the club during a 3-0 win against Southampton on Sunday and laid on an assist for Hazard to score the opener.

The midfielder joined the Blues from boyhood club Everton in January but struggled for game time under Antonio Conte.

However, Barkley confessed last week that he feels he’s being ‘coached’ for the first time in his career under Maurizio Sarri and Hazard feels he cane become one of the best in the world.

‘I think Ross, if you give him the freedom to play and the confidence on the pitch, then he can be one of the best in the world in midfield,’said Hazard.

‘He is strong, powerful, can dribble; he is clever, can shoot and score. He has everything to be the best. I think he is a fantastic midfielder and if he has the players around him to help him play, then he can be one of the best.’

Sunday was Barkley’s third league start of the season under Sarri but it’s clear the former Everton ace is gaining more momentum under the Italian.

‘And Hazard believes the 24-year-old is gaining more confidence with every match. ‘Confidence comes when you play games, so I think he is a fantastic player.

‘He played a fantastic game,’ said Hazard. ‘Of course, it is not just because he scored and got an assist. I think he is strong, you can see on the pitch, that he is very strong.

‘He had some bad moments last year and two years ago with injury but I think he can reach a fantastic level because he is a fantastic player.

‘He is still young and I think he is a good player for the future of Chelsea.’