Chelsea midfielder John Obi Mikel has named Willian and Eden Hazard as the most skilful players at Stamford Bridge.
The Nigeria international was asked to name just one player, but could not separate the two attacking wingers.
Speaking to Chelsea’s official website, Mikel said: “I’ll go for Willian and Eden Hazard.
“They’re both very quick and technical. It’s very difficult to get the ball off them. Willian is just too quick, he has quick feet. He waits for you to make the first move and when you do, he’s gone.
“Hazard doesn’t run around much in training, but you just give him the ball and let him do what he does. What you can do sometimes is just kick them!”
Few Chelsea fans would argue with Mikel’s selections, although there are several other candidates for the title of most skilful player at Stamford Bridge.
Brazilian playmaker Oscar has demonstrated his wide array of skills since joining Chelsea from Internacional in 2012, while January signing Juan Cuadrado was recently compared to Ronaldinho - one of the most skilful players of all time - by former Arsenal defender Martin Keown.
Cuadrado has only made one cameo appearance for the Blues since his £26.8 million move from Fiorentina, so Mikel may not have seen enough of the Colombia international to make a firm judgement.
But Willian and Hazard are two supremely technically-gifted footballers, capable of changing the outcome of a match with a moment of magic.
Hazard: Player of the Year contender
This is particularly true of Hazard, who is unquestionably one of the most exciting Premier League players of recent times.
The Belgium international has been outstanding since joining the Blues from Lille in 2012 and, should Chelsea win their first Premier League title since 2010 later this year, he will surely be a standout candidate to win the 2014-15 Player of the Year award.
Another player Mikel overlooked was Cesc Fabregas, whose contribution at Chelsea this season cannot be understated.
The Spanish midfielder is one of the best passers in world football, but he perhaps lacks the eye-catching skills of Hazard and Willian. Not that this makes him a less effective footballer.
Mikel: Unspectacular but effective
Mikel is at the opposite end of the spectrum to Hazard and Willian. An unspectacular player, the holding midfielder has been criticised in the past for his failing to score goals and provide assists, but the job that he does has always been appreciated by his teammates and managers.
Are Willian and Hazard Chelsea’s most skilful players? Have your say in the comments below.
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