November 18, 2019 / 12:14 PM / 20 days ago

Hazard praises Lampard's early managerial success at Chelsea

FILE PHOTO: Eden Hazard of Chelsea (L) celebrates scoring against West Ham next to team mate Frank Lampard during their English Premier League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London, March 17, 2013. REUTERS/Andrew Winning (BRITAIN)

(Reuters) - Eden Hazard believes former Chelsea team mate Frank Lampard has the platform to become the one of the best managers in the world after a bright start to his reign at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard left Chelsea to join Spanish giants Real Madrid at the start of the season, just before Lampard replaced Maurizio Sarri as manager at the west London club.

Lampard has steadied the ship at Chelsea after a difficult start, guiding them to six consecutive Premier League victories and level on points with second-placed Leicester City heading into the international break.

When asked if he was surprised by Lampard’s instant impact at Chelsea, Hazard told reporters: “No, not at all.

“I know Frank as a player, not as a manager, but he’s a great guy. He’s showed already after four months that he can be one of the best managers in the world.

“The good thing is that they are playing with young players, young English players. For England it’s good, for Chelsea it’s good. They are lucky to have young players with quality.”

Lampard was handed a squad with a two-window transfer ban, leading to more opportunities to English youngsters such as Mason Mount, Fikayo Tomori, Reece James and Tammy Abraham - Chelsea’s top scorer in the league with 10 goals this season.

“I don’t know (if the transfer ban has actually been good for Chelsea),” Hazard added. “Maybe with two or three more players, they would be first.”

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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