Antonio Conte ought to permit Eden Hazard not to waste time with defending just as Manchester United gave Cristiano Ronaldo permit to ‘cheat’ when he was at the pinnacle of his power, according to Rio Ferdinand.
The former United player was brimming with praise for Hazard after his starring part in Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night and believe the Belgian international ought to be treated extraordinarily at the club.
Eden Hazard himself complained in a recent interview about doing excessively tracking back in Conte’s formation, and Ferdinand says top-class attacking players like him shouldn’t be given too much to do.
The Belgian is truly an outstanding forward player in the world on his day, and Ferdinand compared his part in Chelsea’s side and Ronaldo’s at Manchester United in his last couple of seasons before leaving for Real Madrid.
‘We asked before the game, can he (Hazard) produce at this level? Tonight he gave us an answer,’ the former England defender told BT Sport. ‘In a just under 90-minute cameo I thought he was fantastic in everything he done. He was a threat, especially through the middle areas. ‘This guy gives you hope, he’s a player that in top teams you normally get one player who’s allowed to ‘cheat’.
‘He’s that guy you would give that license to with what he can do if you give him as much energy as possible in the attacking third. Restrict the amount of time he has to defend.
‘We done that with Cristiano Ronaldo in our team because of what he could produce at the other end. ‘You want him to be at his best and his most efficient. ‘That means if you can save him energy in running back and let other people put in a bit of an extra shift for him.’