Mourinho: Eden Hazard the best

Eden Hazard is without equal in the Premier League this season and the clear player of the year, according to Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho: Eden Hazard the best

The Belgium playmaker has sparkled at times, scoring 12 goals in 30 matches, to help Chelsea top the standings by seven points with eight games to play ahead of tomorrow’s clash at QPR.

“I think what he’s doing, speaking in a very honest way, it shouldn’t even be a debate,” Mourinho said.

“If somebody throws other names on the table, it’s because he wants to sell papers, wants to throw some sand into people’s eyes, because this player (Hazard) is by far the best player in the Premier League all season.”

Hazard joined from Lille in a £32 million (€40m) deal in the summer of 2012, and recently signed a new contract until 2021.

He is expected to be a key player for many years to come and could play alongside an integral member of Chelsea’s last title-winning side tomorrow.

Didier Drogba, who won the title with Chelsea in 2005, 2006 and 2010, is vying with Loic Remy to start in the absence of Diego Costa, who has a hamstring injury.

Drogba is out of contract at the end of the season, but Mourinho is uncertain what the future holds for the 37-year-old Ivory Coast striker who is in his second spell at Stamford Bridge.

“We have a lot of talks to do. I don’t know what he wants,” Mourinho said.

“I like what he likes. There are people who, during their careers, earn the right and the power to make decisions and not wait for others to make decisions for them.

“What he did at this club for so many years puts him in a great position.”

Remy has scored decisive goals in the last two games — wins at Hull and against Stoke — and, if he performs well, could keep his place even when Spain international Costa returns after an anticipated four-week absence.

“If, in the next few matches, he performs very, very well, maybe it makes the situation difficult for Diego when he comes back,” Mourinho said.

Mourinho’s first trip to play QPR at Loftus Road comes with Chelsea fighting for the Premier League title and QPR for survival.

There is also the unpleasant history between the teams from the Anton Ferdinand affair which saw Chelsea captain John Terry banned for four matches for ‘using abusive language related to colour’.

Terry is poised to return to Loftus Road for the second time since the incident in October 2011 which resulted in a trial and his subsequent acquittal before the FA imposed sanction.

Mourinho played down the relevance of the incident, saying: “I don’t think so. I think it’s just a football match.

“Obviously a very important match for both teams. We know that, we know they want to win. Nobody is expecting an easy match.”

Asked if he anticipates a hostile reception, Mourinho added: “That’s what people tell me. I never played there, I don’t know.

“We go to play, we go to win, the people in the stands can play a role, but they cannot score goals. The referee and the assistant referees are there, so I’m not worried.”

Meanwhile, QPR manager Chris Ramsey expects Terry to face a rough ride from the home fans but says he would happily shake hands with the Blues skipper.

“Fans are fans aren’t they?” Ramsey replied when asked if the game would be intensified by Terry’s presence.

“That’s a subject that brings up a lot of different emotions. So, it would be odd to think that there isn’t going to be an extra feeling towards that situation.

“The whole episode for British society sat uncomfortably. It’s not something we want to highlight in football. It happened and it’s been dealt with. We have to move on and hopefully everyone has learned something from it.”

One man who will not come up against Terry is Anton’s brother Rio Ferdinand, who he has yet to face on the pitch since the charge in 2011.

“Rio has unfortunately got an injury,” Ramsey said.

“He’s had a knock and it’s recurring, he keeps trying to train. He’s someone we miss immensely. We miss his leadership qualities on the pitch. Unfortunately, he won’t be involved in the game.”

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