Thiago Silva has admitted he would love to see his current club Paris Saint-Germain sign Eden Hazard.
The pair will go toe-to-toe on Tuesday as Chelsea travel to Parc des Princes for the first leg on their Champions League round of 16 match. It is a repeat of last year's quarter-final which saw the Blues progress on away goals.
However, that match was overshadowed by reports linking Hazard with a move to the French capital. Laurent Blanc was eyeing a big money move for the Belgian. Jose Mourinho's public criticism of Hazard only added to rumours.
A huge deal for Chelsea
A year on and Chelsea can be more secure that their best player will be hanging around for some time yet. The 23-year-old agreed a £200,000-a-week deal, virtually ruling out a move back to Ligue 1.
But Silva was naturally asked about Chelsea's best player in the pre-match press conference and could not deny that he would like to see PSG sign him. He said Hazard has made the difference for Mourinho's men this season.
"If he really comes, he will be very welcome"
"He is not just good, he is very good!' Silva told reporters. "If he really comes, he will be very welcome."
"All their players are very accomplished, but I believe the Brazilians always make the difference, plus Hazard."
The importance of having Hazard
Chelsea would have had the chance to cash in on Hazard if Mourinho thought he could adequately replace him. He didn't and still managed to fund moves for Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa.
The trio, combined with Oscar, have been the hub of Chelsea's creativity this season. Hazard himself is currently the highest rated player on Whoscored.com, above the much-loved Alexis Sanchez.
His nine goals and five assists have seen him win an impressive five man of the match awards in 25 games. He also averages 2.7 key passes a game - second only to Cesc Fabregas.
Champions League form
He is also only behind Lionel Messi in the Whoscored ratings for the Champions League. Two goals and two assists in just five starts helped Chelsea breeze past their group stage and he is likely to provide the difference when the two sides meet tomorrow night.
Keeping Hazard fit will be of the highest importance for Mourinho, who knows he will need his best player available if they are to challenge for the Champions League as well as win the Premier League, which they are now expected to do.
Do you think Eden Hazard is the best player in the Champions League? Do you think Hazard can eventually be better than Lionel Messi? Give us your thoughts in the comments box below!
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