Hazard tipped to be a hit in England

Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard

First published in National Sport © by

Belgium playmaker Eden Hazard has been backed by his international team-mates to be a major hit in English football.

Hazard looks set to join Chelsea from French side Lille after he wrote on Twitter on Monday evening: "I'm signing for the champion's league winner".

His international teammate Thomas Vermaelen told Sky Sports News: "He is a great player with a lot of special qualities. I think he is a player people go to the stadiums for. People will love him and love watching him playing football, so I think he is a good player for the Premier League."

There has been no official confirmation yet from Chelsea or Lille about any deal, but reports have suggested the 21-year-old, who has been rated at £32million, has agreed a five-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

Despite his Twitter comments, Hazard - likely to feature for his country against England in Saturday's international friendly at Wembley - was giving nothing away to the cameras at Belgium's training camp in Liege, responding to a question about Chelsea by saying: "I do not speak English".

Asked whether Hazard had sought advice from him about a move, Vermaelen said: "He didn't come to me for any advice. I think he has a lot of people around him, so they can give him good advice about which club he should go to."

Fulham's Mousa Dembele, an attacker like Hazard, feels his compatriot has the attributes to thrive in the English top flight - and any other competition.

"It is a good competition for him," Dembele said. "I think he can succeed in every team because he is a fantastic player and I think they will like him very much in England."

Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet, who now faces the prospect of having to keep his fellow countryman at bay in the Premier League, admits Hazard will have a considerable weight of expectation to deal with, but expects to see him shine.

"I think Eden has the qualities and talent to play in England," Mignolet said. "On his day, he can make the difference for his team."


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