Chelsea full-back Filipe Luis believes teammate Eden Hazard can cement his status as one of the world’s top three players within the next few years, overtaking the likes of Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez.
The Brazilian defender also hinted that Chelsea may have the edge in the title race this season thanks to the presence of Hazard, who has been in scintillating form for Jose Mourinho’s side this season.
The Belgium international has scored seven goals and provided five assists in the Premier League so far this term - and Luis expects Chelsea’s prized asset to continue producing the goods in the second half of the campaign.
Luis hails Hazard
"Eden Hazard can easily win a game for you and open a closed defence," said Luis. "If he wants, he can be in the top three in the world in the next few years because he has a lot of quality and ambition to be there.
"I am really happy to be his team-mate because he is one of the greatest players I have played with.
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"The second half of the competition is the more difficult one.
"We have to keep the level really high because we know it is going to be really difficult, but we are happy because it is not easy being top of the league for the whole competition until now.
"We feel that if we keep playing in the second half [of the season] like we are playing now we can be there at the top of the league at the end."
Chelsea flying high
Chelsea currently sit three points clear of second-placed Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table but face a difficult trip to Tottenham on New Year’s Day.
The Blues had hoped to announce news that Hazard has signed a contract extension at Stamford Bridge by Christmas, but the 23-year-old has yet to put pen-to-paper on a new deal.
Real Madrid interest
Chelsea have offered Hazard the chance to become the highest-paid player in the club’s history - he is set to earn a staggering £200,000-a-week - but the player might be keeping his options open, particularly with Real Madrid reportedly keen.
Christian Benteke revealed in December 2012 that his international teammate’s career ambition is to wear the famous white shirt of Real Madrid, which may or may not be a reason behind the contract delay.
Regardless of his supposed dream to play for the reigning European champions, it’s expected that Hazard will sign a new long-term deal with Chelsea over the coming weeks.
Who is the world's third best player?
With Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo currently the two undisputed world’s best players, at this moment in time, is Hazard on course to become the world’s third best? Is he already the world’s best player? Have your say in the comments below.