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Eden Hazard has been tipped to bounce back to his best form by French World Cup winner Zinedine Zidane.
The Belgian has been under a cloud this season as his dip in form coincided with a terrible run for Premier League champions Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho’s team have lost seven of their opening 12 games in the league this season, leaving them languishing in 16th place.
Hazard has failed to repeat the form which made him the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year last term and the 24-year-old has been left out and hauled off early by Mourinho in big games.
Zidane, now coach of Real Madrid’s second team, has heaped praise on Hazard and labelled him the third best player in the world.
His comments are sure to fan the flames of speculation that Hazard could be a summer target for the Spanish giants and Zidane did little to stop rumours linking the player with a move to the Bernabeu.
“I have no doubts he’ll be back,” said Zidane. “After Messi and Ronaldo, Hazard is my favourite player. It is spectacular to see him play.”
He added: “Do I see him going to Real Madrid? I love the player, that’s all I will say.”
Hazard scored 14 league goals as Chelsea marched relentlessly to the title last season, but he has failed to hit the net so far this term.
Chelsea are 4.33 to finish in the Premier League top four this season, while they are 1.44 to end a run of three successive league defeats by beating Norwich on Saturday.