Eden Hazard has backed Chelsea team-mate N’Golo Kante to win the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award.
Hazard and Kante are among six nominees for the prize, with both having starred in Chelsea’s hunt for the league title.
And although Hazard – who has netted 14 goals and accumulated five assists in the league this term – is the favourite to come out on top, he is hopeful that it will be Kante, who has been imperious since joining Chelsea from champions Leicester City in the off-season.
“I hope it will be him,” Hazard told Telefoot.
“It would change it from being the guy who always scores, which is always decisive.
“He is less decisive on the field than a forward. But he won [the league title] last year too, it would reward the two good seasons he had.
“Of course I would like to have this title of best player too, but if I have to choose I would give it to him.”
— PFA (@PFA) April 13, 2017
Hazard won the award back in 2015, but endured a terrible run of form last season as Chelsea slumped to a 10th-placed finish.
However, the Belgian has found his best level once again under Antonio Conte, and the 26-year-old was full of praise for the Italian manager’s full-throttle approach.
“The coach never stops, he’s always screaming, putting the players back in place. This is the key to success this year,” Hazard added.
“I just had to take the pleasure of playing. It’s the Eden that we know, who dares, who dribbles, who scores. I scored some great goals in big games.”
Hazard has been linked with a move away from Chelsea in the off-season, with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid reportedly eager to sign the former Lille winger.
But despite acknowledging his desire to experience playing at a different club, Hazard insists that his immediate future is at Stamford Bridge.
“When it’s not PSG, it’s Real, then maybe it’s Bayern,” Hazard said.
“Strangely last year there wasn’t anybody. I may also have personal ambitions to play in other clubs. But I’m trying to focus on the present, end up in Chelsea this year. I have a contract until 2020. For now, I’m here and good here.”