Eden Hazard has blown away football fans with his incredible start to the season.
We’ve been treated to the absolute best of the Belgian in ten appearances for Chelsea so far - he’s already racked up eight goals with seven of them coming in the Premier League.
It goes without saying the 27-year-old is oozing confidence in front goal, but as we’ve seen over the course of his career, there’s more to his game than finding the net.
In addition to leading the race for the Golden Boot at this early stage of the campaign, Hazard ranks highest in the top-flight for successful dribbles with an average of 2.8 per game and 22 overall.
His deadly form and the arrival of new Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri is no coincidence - and it doesn’t take a tactical genius to figure out why.
Compared to his more defensively oriented predecessor Antonio Conte, the 59-year-old is more lenient with his creative players - particularly Hazard - when it comes to tracking back.
For Andriy Shevchenko, Sarri’s philosophy is tailor-made for the current group at Stamford Bridge.
"Chelsea have a very good team, an excellent range of players," the former Chelsea striker said, per Goal.
"The structure of play encouraged by Sarri suits the players at Chelsea very well. They like to play creative football.
"The team has started well, showing both high-quality football and good results.”
The Blues have failed to win just twice in all competitions since losing the Community Shield to Manchester City, drawing with West Ham and then Liverpool in the space of a week.
Hazard has been a major contributor to their impressive start to life under Sarri, but even when things are going perfectly well for him in west London, talk of his desire to play for Real Madrid never seems to fall silent.
Irrespective of his personal preferences, reports in recent weeks have suggested the Belgium international is unlikely to receive any significant recognition without moving to Spain.
Shevchenko - a man who won the 2004 Ballon d’Or as a Milan player - believes that isn’t the case if Hazard maintains his current output with Chelsea, though.
"Why do attackers always get individual awards? Because they are responsible for finishing attacks," he said.
"People like to see goals scored. Hazard is a phenomenal, fantastic player, but he wasn’t getting those 20-25 goals per season.
"This season he already has eight, so he’s on the road to that number. He has every chance of winning the Ballon d’Or.”
Hazard is sure to be the main man at Chelsea for as long as he remains at the club, so it’s not as if he’s in a similar to situation to before Neymar swapped Barcelona for Paris Saint-Germain.
Considering 2008 was the last time a player outside Spain won the most prestigious individual prize in world football, perhaps that is something for the former Lille star to consider.
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