Former England international Gary Neville says he has no sympathy for Eden Hazard’s struggles, and expects the Chelsea star to do more if he wants to match Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Belgium international was one of the stars of the Premier League in 2014-15 as he inspired the Blues on to win the title, but has been unable to replicate that form as his team struggle this campaign.
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho dropped Hazard from the starting XI for his side’s 2-0 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, and current pundit Neville expects better from the talented 24-year-old.
“I’ve got no sympathy for Hazard,” he said on Sky Sports. “I expect more of him. The level he got to last season, you started to see a great player.
“Hazard, there was talk last season of him getting into that bracket of Messi and Ronaldo. Of course they [players] have off periods but even in the off periods they still contribute, they score goals.
“You saw Ronaldo breaking the record [becoming Real Madrid’s leading goalscorer in history] at the weekend, and what Messi’s done.
“Hazard’s got to pull himself out of it. I’ve got no sympathy for the very top players with the best talent, the best skill, they really have got everything at their feet.
“I’d expect them not just to go and be [PFA Players’] Player of the Year this year, I’d expect them to take it forward and get confidence from that and go and score 30 goals next season, be the best player in the league again, and dominate and dominate.
“He hasn’t done that at the start of this season and he needs to pull himself out of it. Every player goes through a tough patch but he’s got to do it quickly because that’s what the best players do, they come out of these patches very quickly.”
Hazard has made 12 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions so far this term, but has yet to find the back of net.
The next opportunity to open his account this season could come in a crucial Champions League Group G match away to Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.