Sarri says Hazard can be best in Europe

Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri said Eden Hazard can be Europe’s best player “in two years” after his hat-trick in a 4-1 win against Cardiff at Stamford Bridge.

The Belgian moved to the top of the Premier League’s goalscoring charts with five goals in five games, despite beginning two of those as a substitute, and is already almost half-way to matching his goal tally from last season.

“He can become maybe the best player in Europe in the next two years,” Sarri told Sky Sports. “He will improve by spending less time a long way away from goal.”

Chelsea trailed for nearly 20 minutes after the the visitors’ Sol Bamba turned in Sean Morrison’s flick from a free-kick, but never looked back once Hazard scored twice before the break.

“We did not play very well in the first 15 minutes,” Sarri said. “We knew they were very dangerous from set-pieces, with long balls, but we played much better towards the end of the first half, and in the final half hour. Every day I think we need to improve – and we can.”

Sarri told the BBC’s Match of the Day that the Blues needed to defend better.

“I think we are very dangerous going forward, but not so solid defensively.

“I think at the moment Liverpool and Manchester City are another step up, so we have to improve, and I hope next season we can be on the same level.”