This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Eden Hazard has backed Frank Lampard to become one of the best managers in world football, per The Diplomat Project.
The former Chelsea attacker joined Real Madrid in the summer and has struggled to make an instant impact in Spain, scoring just once in all competitions.
However, he reminded supporters of his exceptional qualities on Saturday, scoring twice and registering an assist as Belgium thumped Russia 4-1 in a Euro 2020 qualifier.
And, in the aftermath of the game, Hazard, valued at £135m by Transfermarkt, was asked about Lampard’s success with the Blues thus far this season; they lie third in the Premier League, though they are eight points behind leaders Liverpool.
He said: “No, not at all (surprised). I know Frank as a player, not as a manager but he’s a great guy, he has shown already, after four months, that he can be one of the best managers in the world. But the good thing is that they are playing with young players, young English players. For England it’s good.
“They are lucky to have young players with quality. Maybe wth two, three more players they would be first. When I see them play, it’s nice, they all play together. I still have good friends there, I follow them all the time. They are winning at the moment so I’m just happy for them.”
Sometimes you just need a little bit of luck and Chelsea appear to have that.
Not only has the transfer ban allowed the club to promote the likes of Fikayo Tomori, Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham, but they have also appointed Lampard in a role where he can’t really lose.
Either he cuts loose with the youth and is seen as something of an alchemist, having blended the perfect squad together, or he is hamstrung by the lack of funds.
Hazard alludes to the fact that, with perhaps two more world-class players, they could well be top of the Premier League but as it is, Lampard is well on the way to hugely promising first season at Chelsea.
Ironically, if Hazard were still in the XI, perhaps Chelsea would have a few more points and be pushing at the very top of the Premier League table.
Nevertheless, if they can finish in the top four and maybe build something of a challenge towards the title race, then Lampard will rightly be regarded as an elite managerial talent.