SAINTS defender Yan Valery revealed former Chelsea ace Eden Hazard is the hardest forward he has faced, insisting “you can’t predict what he’s going to do.”

The 23-year-old Frenchman went up against the Belgian superstar for 90 minutes of a Premier League clash in February 2019.

Hazard went to rack up 16 goals in 37 league matches that campaign, before completing a sensational move to Real Madrid in the summer.

The former Lille prodigy was also FWA Footballer of the Year in 2015, and Valery insists there is no opponent that has caused him more trouble.

“There are many, but the one that impressed me the most, I would say it's Eden Hazard,” the Saints defender told footmercato.

“Frankly he's the player you can't predict what he's going to do and even when he's back to goal, he is so lively.”

He continued: “In fact he is complete, he is technically strong, but he is also lively, strong, super tough and with him you have to stay focused until the 90+4th minute.”

However, the match ended in a 0-0 draw with Valery keeping his opposite number quiet enough throughout the contest.

“He can pull off something brilliant at any time and yet against us he didn't have a crazy match, but I felt he was someone special,” Valery added.

A message from the Editor

Thank you for reading this article - we appreciate your support in reading the Daily Echo.

Subscribing to the Echo means you have unrestricted access to the latest news, features and Saints coverage - all with an advertising-light website.

You will also have full access to Saintsplus, your new home for Southampton FC tactical analysis, features and much, much more.

Don't take my word for it - subscribe here to see for yourself.

Follow the latest breaking news in the Southampton area by joining our Facebook group - Southampton News - Breaking News and Incidents

Follow the latest court and crime news on our dedicated Facebook group - Hampshire Court and Crime News