London (AFP) – Eden Hazard can score 40 goals this season and win the Premier League Golden Boot, according to Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri after the Belgium forward scored a hat-trick to maintain the club’s perfect start to the season.
Sarri believes Hazard can become the best player in Europe and outstrip even arch poachers Harry Kane and Mohamed Salah following his three goals in a 4-1 victory against Cardiff on Saturday.
“We have spoken and I told him he can score 40 goals,” said the former Napoli manager. “He has to improve some things, but he can do it.”
Hazard himself has hailed Olivier Giroud as the world’s best target man after the World Cup-winning striker laid on two goals for him.
Giroud is yet to find the net for Chelsea this season but already has three assists in five Premier League games while Hazard has found the net five times.
And the 27-year-old paid tribute to the Frenchman for creating his first two goals at Stamford Bridge on Saturday.
“Olivier’s a target man, maybe the best in the world, I think so,” said Hazard.
“When he gets the ball he can hold the ball and we can go in deep with him, so for us it’s a pleasure to play with him.”
Despite Chelsea’s fluency in attack, Sarri is aware the Stamford Bridge team must improve their defending.
The Italian boss wants to turn Chelsea into the best team in England but says Liverpool and defending champions Manchester City will be the league’s pacesetters.
“Eight players joined us this summer,” he said. “So I think it’s normal that in this period we have some defensive problems. We can cope with the problems with the quality in the offensive phase, but not in the defensive phase.
“So I have to organise better the defensive phase and the players have to understand that. I think my opinion in this moment, two teams, Liverpool and Manchester City, are better than us.
“We have to improve step by step. My target is to become the best team in England in one year, 18 months. That’s the target.”
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