Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink has admitted he has never seen a player lose form as drastically as Eden Hazard during the current campaign.
Hazard was named the PFA Player of the Year last season as the Blues won the Premier League title but has endured a stark decline in 2015-16, scoring just two goals in the FA Cup.
Hiddink explained he had attempted to take the pressure off Hazard in order to help him back to his best but also conceded that the Belgian’s personality made him difficult to read.
When asked if he had ever seen a player lose form like Hazard, Hiddink said: “Not so drastically because he was the number one and now he is at the end of a long row of players.
“That is difficult. So yeah, what do you do… to some players, [you say] ‘hey, go away for one week on holiday’ or whatever. He was away when he was injured, he went off a few days and you hope he can recover also.
“On the other hand, you must not dramatise so much. I think always you come back by trying to play like kids play. I think that is the best always, go away and try to think in the moment what you are doing. That is what I told him: ‘Go and play like a kid’.
“It is also about when everything I say is not a criticism towards him, you know. If you see his skills and you see his spontaneous action, which he did this week in two or three training sessions… he was very light and you see his movements and they are, by nature, they are perfect.
“The conditions are there but there are also the conditions about how do you cope with the season he has had now. How does he react? He can be on a very, very high level but it is not just the skills by nature but also the experience in the career.