Former Chelsea forward Gianfranco Zola believes Jose Mourinho's decision to drop Eden Hazard can be a good thing for the Blues.
The Belgian played seven minutes of Saturday's 2-0 win over Aston Villa but was back in the starting line-up for the 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.
Mourinho had warned last season's PFA Player of the Year that he would have to up his defensive work rate if he was to win back a regular spot in the team.
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But Zola, who made over 200 appearances for the Stamford Bridge club, believes Hazard will 'come back stronger' from this setback.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the former West Ham United manager said: “It’s a surprise with Hazard. But sometimes when you have a fantastic season like Eden had the last year, it can happen that your performances go down for a while.
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“It is normal. I had it in my second year at Chelsea. In my first year, I did so well, but my second year I thought it was going to be easy, so my performances went down.
“And I was an experienced player. Eden is still young, he can learn and I think he will become stronger from this because he will pick up the good things to do.”
Chelsea's draw in Kiev proved to be a frustrating night for Hazard as he came inches away from opening the scoring - Oleksandr Shovkovskiy tipped his effort on to the post.
However, it is his Premier League form that has been the concern this season. The 24-year-old is yet to find the back of the net and his overall influence has diminished.
Rumours have surfaced that Hazard wants to quit the Bridge and join Real Madrid. His activity on Instagram did nothing to quash those suggestions.
But he still has a lot to offer to the Premier League champions. With Mourinho's side making a slow start to the season, the Portuguese boss is demanding they tighten up in defence. His decision to play Willan and Pedro against Villa is a prime example of his desire to stop conceding goals.
But Hazard's unbelievable ability going forward can not be ignored. As the old saying goes: form is temporary, class is permanent. And the winger's class will shine through eventually.
Will Eden Hazard join Real Madrid in the summer? Let us know what you think in the comments section below!
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