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Chelsea star Eden Hazard has hailed the arrival of Gonzalo Higuain and insists the striker is one of the best strikers in Europe.

Hazard was back to his brilliant best in his preferred role on the left wing against Tottenham on Thursday after playing in a false-nine role in recent weeks and the Belgian international admits he prefers playing as a winger.

Sarri started Olivier Giroud against Tottenham and Hazard was at his best playing alongside the France international. Hazard admitted he enjoys playing alongside Giroud.

Hazard said: “For me as a winger you know I like to play with top players.

“With Chelsea I had the chance to play with one of the best in Diego Costa for three years, and I think Higuain is one of the best.

“My position is more winger than No 9, but me, I just try to have fun with my striker, with the other winger, so when the striker is there it is good for me.

“We all know that I like to play the give and go with my striker, so if the striker just goes deep, I am going to be in trouble, but Giroud understands this, that’s why I like to play with him.

“We all know that, and I think Higuain is going to do the same, and of course he is a fantastic striker, he has scored a lot of goals, when you see his career, Real Madrid, Napoli, Juventus, he has always scored goals.”

Following the 2-0 loss at Arsenal, Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri questioned the mentality of the players and ahead of the Carabao Cup win over Tottenham, he insisted Hazard wasn’t a leader.

The Belgian responded to the criticism with a man of the match performance against Tottenham. He revealed after the game that his reaction to Sarri’s comments was to give his best on the pitch.

Hazard said: “My reaction is to be on the pitch and try to do my best. Managers in the past have talked about me, this manager talked about me, the next manager is going to talk about me.

“My target is just to play football. I don’t care what people think, I just want to do my best.

“Today I did, not against Arsenal, of course, but now I look to the future and I will do my best again.

“We didn’t talk about (the criticism). I don’t have a problem with that. A manager can think what they want to think.

“For me the best response is to be on the pitch and winning games. I understand, when the team is not playing well, the manager has to criticise players.

“I’m not saying I am the best player, but when there is always this kind of player who can help the team to win the game, I just try to do my best.

“I am not focused on what the manager says, I don’t care about that.

“To be fair, if the manager has to say something he will say it, we are men, big men, so we can talk together, so no problem at all.

“In the dressing room all of the players, we have almost won everything. We are big players.

“We know when we are not playing well, and we know when we are playing good. So at the end we just need to look in the same way and try to win games. That’s it.”

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