Chelsea have recently been linked with a move for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale but they already have a player in their ranks outperforming the Welshman in his best ever season.
Eden Hazard is the favourite to be crowned PFA Player of the Year and Opta-powered fantasy football game Oulala took a look at how Hazard compares against the statistics of past winners Gareth Bale in 2012-13 and Luis Suarez in 2013-14.
Liverpool's Luis Suárez wins the goal scoring honours, and by quite some distance with 31 goals in his 33 games last term, compared to 21 from Bale in 2012/13 and ten from Hazard so far this season. Suarez also leads for assists with a total of 12. Hazard's six assists have already surpassed Bale's tally of four.
However, that's as far as Suárez gets in this contest and Bale doesn't even manage to win a category. Seven other key areas were assessed and it is Eden Hazard that comes out on top in every single one.
When it comes to passing the 24-year-old leaves the other two in the shade, completing an impressive 87% of his passes and making an average of 48.1 passes per match, over 20 more per game than the others. Hazard has also completed 2.57 key passes per game, again outperforming the other two players.
Despite scoring fewer goals than Bale and Suárez, Hazard in-fact has the better shot accuracy of the trio with 59%. And even though he has fewer assists than Suárez, the Belgian has actually created more chances than both players, 2.79 per game.
All three are well-known for their dribbling abilities but again it is Hazard that excels by a distance. The 24-year-old has completed over 20% more of his dribbles than both Bale and Suárez did during their respective seasons. 65% in total. He has also provoked more fouls from his opponents than both Bale and Suárez, a total of 2.93 per game.
The stats clearly show that Hazard's all-round game is much more advanced than Bale's and Suárez's were in their award winning seasons. As soon as Hazard adds a few more goals to his locker the comparisons will likely move up a notch against the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The bad news for Chelsea fans is that this is when Real Madrid or Barcelona will most likely start battering their eyelids at Hazard.