London, November 10: Eden Hazard has declared Belgium colleague Kevin De Bruyne to be the best player in the Premier League.
Chelsea playmaker Hazard scooped the PFA and Football Writers' Association Player of the Year awards for his displays during the 2014-15 season and also inspired Antonio Conte's side to Premier League glory last time around.
Manchester City are leading the charge to dethrone Chelsea this time around and De Bruyne has been their standout performer with a series of impeccable midfield performances.
Speaking ahead of Belgium's friendly at home to Mexico on Friday, Hazard was quick to concede his compatriot is currently number one in England's top flight.
"Kevin is definitely the best player in the Premier League at the moment," he said.
"City are the best Premier League team and Kevin is an important player in Guardiola's system.
"It's easy to play with Kevin because we're good players."
Hazard's start to the current campaign was delayed as he completed rehabilitation following a fractured ankle suffered on international duty in June.
Although the 26-year-old feels back to his best – his excellent display during last weekend's 1-0 win over Manchester United would add weight to that view – he was realistic over his likely workload during this round of internationals, with Japan facing Roberto Martinez's Red Devils next week.
"Will I play both games? It would be silly to play 90 minutes twice but I still want to play," he said.
"Personally I feel good. There is no apprehension related to my return from injury.
"I am already at the top but I still hope to improve."
Earlier on Wednesday, Hazard once again spoke of his admiration for Real Madrid head coach Zinedine Zidane but insisted he remains happy at Chelsea.
"Everyone knows the respect I have for the man," he told RTL. "For the player he was and for the coach he is, he was my idol.
"Of course I don't know what will happen in my career in the future, but to play under him would be a dream.
"At this time, though, I'm happy at Chelsea. I still have a lot of things to do at Chelsea, and I'm focused on Chelsea."