Eden Hazard has consistently been one of the Premier League's best players since he joined from Lille in 2012, but he has seemingly found another level following Maurizio Sarri's appointment.
Hazard's start to the 2018-19 season has been truly exceptional, with the Belgium international scoring seven times in eight Premier League games ahead of the visit of Manchester United and former coach Jose Mourinho this weekend.
Sarri's appointment as coach was always highlighted as a potential boost to Chelsea's attackers following more the more pragmatic approaches of Antonio Conte and Mourinho.
It was under the latter that Hazard enjoyed two of his best seasons at Chelsea, but Sarri seems to have transformed him into a player capable of challenging for the Ballon d'Or.
As Chelsea prepare to host Mourinho's United, we look at the Opta data which shows Hazard is performing even better than he did in his days working under the 'Special One'.
More shots, more goals
The most obvious element of change in Hazard's play under Sarri has been his increased shooting frequency. During his time under Mourinho's watch, he averaged 2.1 shots per 90 minutes, but this season that figure is significantly higher at 3.6.
There has also been an impact on his accuracy as he has found the target with 1.6 shots every match. His best record in any one season with Mourinho was 1.0 in 2013-14. Perhaps the only surprise this term is his 4.8 per cent conversion rate, well below the 16.2 per cent he posted with Mourinho in charge, but a decrease is to be expected considering how much more he is trying his luck.
Keeping things ticking
Hazard's increased threat around goal has not impacted negatively on his creative responsibilities as he has again proved more effective than he ever did with Mourinho, averaging 0.5 assists every game - 0.3 more than his spell with the Portuguese coach.
He is also enjoying increased effectiveness in possession, attempting 72.5 passes per match. The most he ever averaged in a season with Mourinho was 59.2, highlighting the fact he is far more involved in Chelsea's general build-up play.
Hazard was always a prominent figure under Mourinho and his 2014-15 campaign was arguably his best in a Chelsea shirt. That season he was particularly good on the ball, attempting 7.9 dribbles per match and completing 4.8 of them.
His figures this term (3.4 and 7.2, respectively) are not as impressive, but it can be argued he is showing maturity by looking for alternative options. After all, Hazard has had an average of 100.1 touches of the ball per match under Sarri – his best such record with Mourinho as his coach was 82.7.
It is a common misconception of Mourinho's teams that he expects players to do a lot of running, particularly the full-backs and wingers. But as it turns out, Hazard is running further on average with Sarri, having covered 10.4 kilometres per match this term, as opposed to the 10.3km he ran every 90 minutes for Conte's predecessor.
21 de enero 2019
|Terrible no-call, Goff shines – three takeaways from Rams´ win over Saints|
|Lonzo Ball to miss 4-6 weeks with ankle sprain|
|Patterson added to Australia Test squad|
|Zuerlein´s overtime kick sinks Saints and sends Rams to Super Bowl|
|It was a clear goal – Valverde dismisses Barca VAR controversy|
|Rashford can emulate Man United greats Ronaldo and Rooney – Solskjaer|
|Karmichael Hunt swaps Reds for Waratahs|
|Barcelona forward Dembele set for tests on sprained ankle|
20 de enero 2019
|Neymar insists Barcelona and Real Madrid links not ´concrete´|
|England trio Nowell, Slade and Cowan-Dickie sign fresh Exeter deals|
|Windies coach Pybus not distracted by detractors|
|Barcelona 3 Leganes 1: Messi and Suarez combine to spare Barca´s blushes|
|I´m sure Michael would be extremely proud - Vettel hails Mick Schumacher|
|Young plays down injury fears for England trio Launchbury, Shields and Hughes|
|Pochettino: Lucas Moura fit for Chelsea clash|
|Ranieri positive on Fulham survival chances despite ´unbelievable´ Spurs loss|
|United Arab Emirates v Kyrgyzstan: Zaccheroni confident in attack|
|South Korea lose Ki to hamstring injury|
|It doesn´t look great - Pochettino to wait on Alli assessment|
|Messi benched as Barcelona face Leganes|
|Dalglish texts me before matches - Van Dijk|
|Patrick Mahomes could sign NFL´s first $200m contract - reports|
|Iran 2 Oman 0: Jahanbakhsh and Dejagah secure last-eight spot|
|Helloooo u remember me? Nkoudou reminds Spurs fans he exists|
|Japan v Saudi Arabia: Pizzi believes Saudis can upset the odds|
|Repsol Honda´s Lorenzo to have surgery on fractured wrist|
|Fulham 1 Tottenham 2: Winks heads late winner after Alli injury|
|Leinster seal home quarter-final with win over Wasps|
|Vince, Curran star as Sixers trounce Heat to move second|
|Sharapova stunned by Barty as Kvitova takes Anisimova to school|
|Guardiola demands improvement after Man City win|
|Sexton has bat phone to referees - Jones|
|Alonso accepts Chelsea guilty of ´silly mistakes´ in Arsenal defeat|
|Guardiola woke us up - Sane reveals half-time rocket for Man City|
|A first step to something bigger - Tsitsipas eyeing glory after shocking Federer|
|Thailand 1 China 2: Gao Lin keeps dream alive for Lippi|
|Tsitsipas in dreamland after ousting Federer, birthday boy Tiafoe breaks new ground|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Manchester City 3: Danilo, Sterling and Sane on target for ton-up City|
|Allegri: Khedira will be like a new signing for Juventus|
|Manchester City reach 100 goals in 2018-19|
|Australia v Uzbekistan: Leckie´s return is ´like a new signing´, says Arnold|
|Jordan 1 Vietnam 1 (aet, 2-4 on penalties): Keeper Van Lam the shoot-out hero|
|Federer confirms French Open return after Melbourne exit|
|I accept his decision - Gattuso axes Chelsea-bound Higuain|
|The rapid rise of Federer-conqueror Tsitsipas|
|Gracious Federer hails ´better player´ Tsitsipas after Australian Open exit|
|Tsitsipas ´happiest man on earth´ after stunning Federer|
|Harden focused on wins, not personal feats after scoring 48 points|
|PSG midfielder Verratti suffers sprained ankle|
|Inspired Tsitsipas dethrones Federer|
|PSG´s Cavani considering career finale in Uruguay|
|Feisty Collins ready to make more noise after thrashing Kerber|
|I´ve got to work on my soccer skills! - Mavs´ Doncic didn´t know ejection rule|
|Lakers won´t rush LeBron & Rondo back despite Ball injury|
|A-League Review: Victory fightback in thriller with Wellington|
|Henry explains foul-mouthed confrontation with Strasbourg´s Lala|
|Nadal wary of ´dangerous´ Tiafoe|
|Emery ´not positive´ over Bellerin injury|
|Harden scores 48 points as Rockets rally past Lakers in OT|
|Pacquiao wants Mayweather rematch after beating Broner|
|Sharapova unimpressed with questions after Melbourne exit|
|Nadal outclasses Berdych en route to quarters|
|Collins trounces 2016 Aus Open champion Kerber|
|Sanchez: Man United thriving thanks to Solskjaer|
|Sharapova crashes out of Australian Open|
|Devils´ Palmieri replaces Hall on NHL All-Star roster|
|Tuchel stunned by PSG´s nine-goal thrashing of Guingamp|
|Modric wants to extend Real Madrid stay|
|Marotta: Icardi will re-sign, Godin wants Inter|
|´F*** no!´ - Westbrook on if he´s cool with Embiid|