Even Chelsea interim manager Guus Hiddink has been shocked by Eden Hazard’s loss of form this season.
Judged the best player in the Premier League last season, Hazard has looked a shadow of his former self in 2015-16, with his output drastically reduced during Chelsea’s nightmare campaign.
The Premier League champions – 10th in the table – are 28 points off the title-winning pace set by Leicester City and 13 points adrift of Champions League qualification with six games remaining.
Chelsea’s drastic drop from last season has been encapsulated by Hazard’s personal output, with the Belgium international yet to score a league goal in 26 appearances this term.
“Normally you have your beautiful season as he had last season and then it is difficult to get a second season like that but not that drastically from what he is experiencing now,” Hiddink said of the struggling winger.
And Hiddink said Hazard needs to get back to enjoying football to play with more freedom.
“Right now he needs to come back by trying to play like kids play,” Hiddink insisted as Chelsea prepare to face Manchester City on Saturday.
“That is the best always, try and play and think in the moment what you are doing and not what is in the past or in the future.
“Go back and try and play like a kid.
“Last year everything was beautiful and this year everything for him is dark. The contrast is huge.”