Arsenal's Vermaelen backing Hazard for Chelsea success

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is backing fellow Belgian Eden Hazard for success at Chelsea.

Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen is backing fellow Belgian Eden Hazard for success at Chelsea.

Hazard promises to be one of the most exciting arrivals in recent years and Vermaelen does not expect him to disappoint, offering the ultimate compliment by likening his style to Lionel Messi’s.

"Eden is a really talented player," Vermaelen told the Daily Mail. "Technically, he is very good. He is quick with the ball. He’s a little bit like the way Messi plays. He’s small with a low centre of gravity and has some good tricks.

"We wanted to give him a free role in the friendly against England (in May) because he has the talent to do that. You don’t have to give him too many responsibilities. Just leave him free to play. Allow him to enjoy the game and then he will be at his best.

"I’m confident he will do well but the Premier League is a high step. Everyone will say that. England is tougher and the tempo is much higher and the quality of defenders is much better.

"He has exceptional qualities. It is not easy to show that every week at a high level but he will show his quality to the fans at Chelsea. He will do well, I think.

"I don’t know his brother and I’ve never seen him play, so I don’t know about him. I heard some good things but I know Eden well from the national team."

Have your say