Antonio Conte is confident he can transform the likes of Eden Hazard into world-class performers during his time in charge of Chelsea.
Hazard was voted the PFA Player of the Year in 2015 for the dazzling displays that helped Chelsea win the Premier League, but suffered a dip in form last term as the Blues endured a dismal title defence that saw Jose Mourinho sacked.
Having shown glimpses of returning to his best for Belgium during Euro 2016, Mourinho’s successor Conte is hoping Hazard will improve into one of the world’s best.
“Last season was very bad for the players,” Conte was quoted as saying in the Daily Express. “It is incredible that Chelsea finished 10th.
“When you have great players in a team with great character, and Hazard is one of them, the expectation can be very high. It is important for us to get Hazard back to his best condition, technically, physically and mentally. I spoke with him and I am very happy to train a fantastic player like him.
“Chelsea have players with great talent, who can become top, top, top players.
“At the moment the world doesn’t think they’re at the same level as (Lionel) Messi or (Cristiano) Ronaldo or Neymar. But there are players that can reach this level, I’m sure.
“The players must believe that they can become top, top, top. It is important for the manager to take the best and try to improve them.”