Eden Hazard is among of handful of players who can succeed Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at the summit of world football, according to Graeme Souness.
The Belgium international strengthened his claim to be heir to Messi and Ronaldo’s throne with two goals in Chelsea’s 3-1 victory over Newcastle on Saturday.
In a scintillating display, Hazard registered a career-high nine attempts on goal, six of which were on target – the most by a Premier League player this season.
And Sky Sports pundit Souness was left in no doubt the “unplayable” Hazard could follow in the footsteps of modern football’s marquee players.
“When you think of the players who can take the mantle from the two top players at the moment – Messi and Ronaldo – Hazard comes into that category. He is that good,” Souness said.
“His best years are ahead of him. My only criticism of him is that sometimes he’s not bang at it, but when he is in the mood he was today he is unplayable.
“The truly great players become unplayable, and when he is at it he certainly is great.
“You can set all the bear traps and obstacles for him but, like all the great players, he finds a solution to what’s put in front of him.
“He’s among a handful of players who you can say are unplayable on their day.”
Hazard capped Chelsea’s victory – which moved them level with second-placed Manchester United, eight points adrift of Premier League leaders Manchester City – with a nonchalant chipped penalty.
Antonio Conte hailed the Belgian’s performance, highlighting his burgeoning relationship with strike partner Alvaro Morata.
“In this type of game, when we decided to have a tactical solution, he had more freedom to play as striker and then offensively he was very dangerous.
“He played very well, scored twice, and the goalkeeper made two fantastic saves from him. He must continue in this way to improve himself.”