Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink believes Eden Hazard can respond to his disappointing season and win the Ballon D’Or in the future. The Belgian playmaker was last year’s PFA Player of the Year but has failed to even score in club football so far this current campaign.
Hazard will miss Wednesday’s home Premier League match with West Bromwich Albion as he recovers from a groin injury but he has returned to training and Hiddink believes he will come good again when he resumes action:
“It’s for me about freshness. If the mind is fresh, if players are eager to step on to the training ground and enjoy training, it’s a signal of freshness.
“For him it’s the same. He has won these trophies but had this season with some mostly physical problems. Yesterday was the Ballon d’Or. If you see the freshness of players after having won already I don’t know how many times the Ballon d’Or and there the freshness, playing like a youngster, is there.
“That’s what we’re aiming for with him as well. He has to enjoy it and get rid of his physical problems. Automatically he will come into his normal shape of play.
“For the Ballon d’Or you have to establish yourself not just in one season but to get this reward for more seasons. Hazard is capable in the future, but there are now other demands.”
Hiddink insists he will not be taking the “arm around him” approach in a bid to get the 25-year-old back to his best.
“I am not his mother,” he insisted. “They get proper attention and it’s all an individual approach. One needs a lash, another one needs an arm. It’s individual.
“Another one needs to be pinched a bit. It’s different. But we give him the time to come back to the level where he can play.”
Hiddink coy on transfer plans
Hiddink has not given up hope of reaching the Premier League’s top four this term but refused to discuss whether the club are interested in signing a striker.
“We talk (with the board), yes,” he said. “That’s I think between us and I don’t think it’s now the moment to go public if we have some wishes or we feel that we have to cover up a position. First things have to be done before you go out (publicly).