Former Chelsea winger Thorgan Hazard claims he became a better player last season thanks to the experience of playing regular football in the Bundesliga with Borussia Monchengladbach.
The 22-year-old brother of Blues fans favourite Eden Hazard reflects positively on his first full year in Germany and is already looking ahead to the 2015/16 campaign where he hopes to come up against his elder sibling in the Champions League.
Hazard junior says he still has something to prove to his old employers, who still retain an option to re-sign the fleet-footed forward as part of the deal that allowed him to link up with Lucien Favre’s side permanently.
And, he’s planning to show Jose Mourinho and co that they made a mistake letting him leave Stamford Bridge after sanctioning his €8 million departure upon the expiry of his season-long loan deal, preferably with the help of a face-to-face meeting in Europe’s top tier competition next term.
"My desire is for Chelsea to be among Gladbach's Champions League opponents this campaign," he is quoted saying by Goal.com in an interview with Sport Bild.
"I've never played against my brother Eden competitively, that would be a great thing for our whole family. Then we can see who the better Hazard is!"
Asked what he believes to be his strongest position, Hazard explained that he’s happy to play wherever his manager needs him before adding that a more central role is an area he feels most effective.
Unlike his older brother Eden - who is most lethal coming inside from either flank - the young Belgian sees himself as more of a support striker in the hole between the opposition lines of midfield and defence.
It’s his aim to prove that is where he should be deployed for Monchengladbach during his second season in Germany, having already helped them secure a third place finish in the Bundesliga last term.
"The No.10 position is my best position, but I do not know how the coach plans to play me," he added. "I have shown that I can also play on the wing.
"I learned a lot last season, I think I became a better player. I was able to play in one of the strongest leagues in the world.
"Of course, I hope that next season I will play a bit more, but I know that the competition for places is huge. This is normal at a big club. I will work hard and have to play well to assert myself."
Whether or not Thorgan Hazard returns to west London as a player in the future remains to be seen, but he’s still got some way to go before realistically being compared to his brother Eden.
Chelsea fans: Do you think Jose Mourinho made a mistake selling the younger Hazard brother to Borussia Monchengladbach? Have your say in the comment box below…