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Settled Cabaye excited to face one of the world's best
NEWCASTLE UNITED'S Yohan Cabaye is looking forward to a reunion with Eden Hazard later today and thinks his former Lille team-mate's move to the Premier League could make him one of the best in the world.
Hazard, 21, has started life at Stamford Bridge in fantastic fashion, including creating five goals with his wing play in his first two matches since his £32m move from Ligue 1 in the summer.
The Belgian has been on the radar of all of the top clubs across Europe over the last couple of years following his scintillating displays in helping Lille become a real powerhouse in French football.
Now Blues boss Roberto di Matteo is hoping Hazard can relight Chelsea's domestic fire and help them challenge Manchester City and Manchester United at the top of the tree once again.
Cabaye, himself attracting interest from home and abroad ahead of the transfer window closing at the end of the month, thinks Hazard can do just that.
“The Premier League will be good for Eden’s progression. He had already won two times the French player of the year award before he came here,” said Cabaye. “Everybody in France knows him, so the best way for him to improve again and to become one of the big, big players in the world - which he can be - was to move here.
“I don’t have much doubt that he’ll become one of the best players in the league here, especially if he continues to play like he did on Sunday at Wigan. If he carries on like that, he will. If he helps Chelsea to win something, he can become the best player in the Premier League.”
After his two assists at Wigan six days ago Hazard created three of Chelsea's four goals against Reading, leaving members of the Chelsea dressing room to label him 'phenomenal'.
Cabaye had a part to play in Hazard's decision to resist overtures from abroad and move to London, where Newcastle will be charged with the difficult job of trying to keep him quiet tonight.
“He asked me about the Premier League and I told him 'it’s the best league in the world' and that if he wanted to truly progress as a footballer, he had to join us over here,” said Cabaye.
With interest in Cabaye strong before the transfer window closes in six days, the worry on Tyneside is that a significant offer will tempt Newcastle in to selling. The 26-year-old only wants to focus on staying with the Magpies.
Cabaye, who is fresh for today after sitting out Thursday's Europa League play-off with Atromitos, said: “I'm happy to be in Newcastle. Every day I’m happy about my choice and I want to keep going and keep working with Newcastle, to keep winning games, to stay near the top of the league and play in Europe, too. For me, every day I’m so happy to be a Newcastle player.”