Fabregas: Hazard is our Messi

Cesc Fabregas believes Chelsea team-mate Eden Hazard plays a similar role to Lionel Messi at Barcelona.

Fabregas played alongside four-time world player of the year Messi for three years before making a close-season move to Stamford Bridge where, alongside Hazard, he has helped Chelsea to the top of the Premier League.

While the ex-Arsenal captain has been consistently impressive since returning to the English top flight, Hazard too has been in fine form - winning and scoring the penalty that opened the scoring against Fabregas' former club on Sunday.

And Fabregas feels the performances of Hazard will be key to Chelsea's success this term.

"He is the link between midfield and attack for us; he is our Messi because he makes the difference," the Spaniard told radio station Cope.

"We have a young team but we are very positive about the future."

Much of the discussion prior to Chelsea's 2-0 win over Arsenal had centred on Fabregas coming up against a club he spent eight years at before returning to Barca.

After Arsenal passed up their first option to re-sign him, Chelsea made their move, but Fabregas revealed there was a third party interested in him.

"I've always played in clubs where I wanted to play. At the end of last season, I saw Chelsea as the best option," he continued.

"I always thought about a return to England and I talked to Mourinho and realised this was the best option.

"It was arranged through my agent. There was no call with Mourinho, just a face-to-face meeting. Jose showed great respect and convinced me quickly. 

"We were honest, we put aside any history and I made my decision after talking with him. Overall I had three options in England."