Unai Emery has admitted that Chelsea winger Eden Hazard is among the five best players in the world, ahead of the Europa League final against the Blues on Wednesday.
Emery faces a pivotal match in his Arsenal career on Wednesday night, as he could either end the season with a European trophy and Champions League qualification or trophyless with another Europa League campaign to look forward to.
While Arsenal will look to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette to provide another big performance in the competition, Chelsea will rely on their main man in attack, Eden Hazard. Emery is well aware of the dangers the winger poses, ranking him amongst the top players on the planet.
“Hazard is a player of moments, but decisive moments,” Emery said (via El Mundo). “It is what we have to avoid. Chelsea is capable of winning thanks to him, and that ability I have only seen in Messi, Cristiano, Neymar or Salah. For me, it is in the quintet of the best in the world.
“Manchester City, for example, has won its second (consecutive) Premier League title, but it has done so more from the collective. It is a more choral team, like Tottenham, despite the contribution of Harry Kane and Son.”
Hazard has scored 19 goals and assisted 16 in all competitions this season. Though only one assist came in the Europa League, as he hasn’t featured particularly often in the tournament, that assist was for a crucial goal in the last round. The Belgian international went on to score the winning penalty in the shootout to send Chelsea to Baku.
Fingers crossed Hazard chooses this match to have an off-day, and Ainsley Maitland-Niles plays his best game of the season at wing-back.