BRI SAW EARLY HAZARD SIGN
READING boss Brian McDermott has told Roberto Di Matteo: I knew Eden Hazard was a star long before you did.
Stamford Bridge is preparing to welcome the £32million new signing for the first time.
But McDermott tried and failed to get him to Reading when he was just a teenager.
“I remember watching Hazard playing for Lille when he was 16 and thinking what a great talent he was then,” said McDermott.
“He was phenomenal and everyone there knew what a talent he was going to be. He stood out like the proverbial sore thumb.
“But you can’t go to a place like Lille and say ‘we’ll take your best player’, it just doesn’t happen.”
Hazard made a superb Premier League debut at Wigan, but he might not be so effective when the top-flight hard men put a boot up his bottom.
But McDermott promised none of his players would be trying that.
He said: “Going back to when I played you could kick people out of the league because that’s how it was in those days.
“Now it is not like that, thank God. One tackle now and you get booked – and that’s why the flair players thrive.”