Jurgen Klopp believes Eden Hazard is capable of being the world’s best player as Liverpool prepare to face Chelsea.
“On his day he [Hazard] can be the world’s best immediately,” he said on Friday, according to the Echo. “He has had a brilliant career so far and he is one of the things I like a lot of football.
“He is a good player but with all good players, they have to play against us and we will try everything to deny a couple of his skills and that will help us.”
They’re big words from Klopp. The idea that Hazard can be the world’s best is a contentious one but Klopp has summed the Belgian up very well there.
Hazard lacks the consistency of many great players. His ability to dominate over an entire season is questionable to say the least but there is no doubting his talent.
He can turn it on at a moment’s notice, pushing a game in his direction without any warning. That’s what Liverpool need to look out for on Sunday.
But how do you stop him doing that? Klopp answered that on Friday with a little insight into his thinking.
“Reading the game and reading passes to him, reacting a little better – it’s not easy – but in some situations, you can’t defend and hopefully help will come in from somewhere else,” he said.
A bit of luck, in other words. While also hoping that Hazard doesn’t do something as special as he did on his last trip to Anfield.
It is not ideal but that is usually the situation when coming up against top players. The best way to answer them is simple enough, of course, and is less about stopping them.
Klopp needs to hope that his own stars can provide enough to match Hazard, should he perform this Sunday. Is Salah, Mane, and Firmino are at their best, it really won’t matter what the Belgian does.
That is ultimately the key to ‘stopping’ Hazard.