Chelsea great Joe Cole played with Eden Hazard at Lille and Cole revealed he knew Hazard was a special player after Hazard scored a brace for Lille in Cole’s debut for the French club.
“When I went to speak to coach Rudi Garcia about playing at Lille he said “’ok we have got Dimitri Payet, who is a very, very good player and we have got Eden Hazard, who is a special player. We have got this formation and here’s where we are playing you, Hazard and Payet,” Cole told Goal.
“I had heard about him [a bit], he was linked with clubs already when I signed. On my debut, he scored two goals and I saw that he was special player. He was like a hero there, he came through the system. I knew straight away.
“Players are the best judge and when you play with someone and see him day-in, day-out I knew he was a special player. I was asked about him [by Chelsea]. Obviously, I gave him a glowing endorsement, I remember talking about it.
“I remember he also had a choice of many clubs to go to. I said Chelsea was the right place for him [while I was at Lille]. It was a transitional time [for Chelsea], plus living in London is big for foreign players, particularly the lads from Belgium, with the train going to Belgium.
“When you are a young lad, with a young family as well, I think it was the right fit for him. If he stays at Chelsea, I think he will go on to be the greatest player in the club’s history. I stand by that.”