Maurizio Sarri has tipped “genius” Eden Hazard to become the best player in the world – if he can add extra intensity to his training.
Chelsea boss Sarri admitted he “wants everything” from Hazard, urging the Belgium playmaker to wring every last drop of potential out of himself.
Hazard has already scored six goals across seven Chelsea appearances this term, but Sarri continues to maintain that the 27-year-old can still improve.
Hazard climbed off the bench to slot a stunning winner as Chelsea sneaked past Liverpool 2-1 in the Carabao Cup at Anfield on Wednesday, and should start against the Reds in the Stamford Bridge rematch.
“I think that he is for sure one of the best (players in the world), but I am absolutely convinced that he can improve,” said Sarri.
“If he’s able to improve during training maybe he will be able to use and serve at 100 per cent.
“Because I think that we have seen only 75, 80 per cent of his potential.
Sarri calls Hazard a 'genius' and 'unique' and says it's difficult to compare him to other players. #CHELIV— Chelsea FC (@ChelseaFC) September 28, 2018
“So I think that if he’s able to improve he will be the best in the world.”
Asked if Hazard could be voted the best player in the world in a year’s time, Sarri continued: “I think so, I think so.
“It’s very difficult to compare him with other players. He’s a genius. He’s unique.
“He’s a genius, technically I think he’s the best. And so I want him to be the best in the world.
“More continuity from the physical point of view, from the mental point of view.
“Because he has the opportunity to improve more, and he can become the best player in the world.
“It’s a very interesting challenge I think.
“He has a lot to give, to the team, to the staff. And I want everything.”
Gary Cahill has admitted he may have to leave Chelsea in January and go in search of regular first-team football, but Sarri has urged the former England defender to bide his time before making any decisions.
“I have spoken with him but I think that there is October, November, December, so I think that he has to wait,” said Sarri.
“And then we have to wait. I repeat, I was really very happy with the performance of Cahill (at Liverpool on Wednesday).
“And so now Gary for me is very useful. January is far from now, so we will see.”