Belfast Telegraph

Lampard welcomes Hazard arrival

Frank Lampard is relishing the prospect of midfielder Eden Hazard joining Chelsea and could get a first-hand look at his quality during England's Wembley friendly with Belgium on Saturday.

Hazard is poised to link up with the Blues after tweeting "joining the Champions League winner" this week, although the move from Lille has still to be confirmed. Lampard believes Hazard will bring a "youth and hunger" to the Chelsea set-up as they look to rebuild an ageing squad.

"It is very exciting to hear the news. I haven't seen so much of the French football but everyone I speak to says he is a very top player, a very top young player," Lampard said.

"If he can bring that youth and hunger and ability into our team, then he'll be very welcome.

"Joe Cole knows him very well and spent a year at Lille with him. Talking about those type of players, Joe is very honest and knowledgeable and he has been very impressed with him."

Lampard also feels Hazard's emergence is a sign of the flourishing talent in the Belgium squad.

He said: "We were talking over lunch about the quality players Belgium have now. Maybe in recent years they haven't been seen as one of the top nations.

"But when you think of the quality players playing around England and Europe at the moment in their team, they are going to provide a very tough game for us."

Lampard added: "Friendlies, going into tournaments are always very important, even if the result is maybe not so much.

"You want to win the game but we've seen some strange results this weekend just gone as well. But you want to see plenty of positives individually and as a group. That's all you can ask for."


From Belfast Telegraph