• Premier League

Mourinho relishing Hazard potential

ESPN staff
August 20, 2013
Mourinho labels Hazard 'top talent'

Jose Mourinho has sent a pointed and public message to Eden Hazard, saying he wants the player to make full use of his "top talent" and become a "top player".

In a statement reminiscent of the Chelsea manager's previous comments about Joe Cole adding another side to his game, Mourinho said he wanted Hazard to consistently perform on the pitch.

"I want more responsibility and more ambition," Mourinho said. "When you are a normal player you have to be happy if you perform OK, when you have actions during the game that show quality.

"But when you are a top talent you can't waste that talent, when somebody gives you that talent. I think at this talent level he is somebody very above us.

"I want to give him that responsibility and ambition for the kid to be better and better and to express himself on the pitch match after match. Don't be up and down but to always be at the top of his game because he has the conditions to be a top player.

"This is what I want, whether I can get it I don't know but he is working very, very hard. I'm very happy with the kid."

Mourinho also lionised another player who developed under his tutelage, as he agreed with a view that Frank Lampard signing a new contract was one of the best pieces of business Chelsea did in the summer.

"I think everybody wanted it to happen," Mourinho said. "The club always wanted it, Frank always wanted it. When I came into the picture I was happy for him to stay.

"It was clear that the fans last season also wanted it. Let's all of us enjoy Frank and let Frank enjoy Chelsea and his football. We have a great relationship, I trust him a lot but he also knows that he's not 25 anymore.

"The crazy 'Lamps' that wants to play every minute of a Carling Cup match against a team from the Championship or the crazy Frank that wants to break the record of appearances and play in every minute of every match is not here anymore.

"Now he wants to keep his performances high for the most seasons we can. We have to be clever and intelligent and protect these players that are over 30. We will do that naturally and I believe he will be a fantastic player for us."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd