Hazard says it would be best for Belgium if De Bruyne left Stamford Bridge.
Eden Hazard has encouraged Chelsea and Belgium teammate Kevin de Bruyne to leave Stamford Bridge in search of regular first team football.
After starting Chelsea’s first match of the season against Hull and the 0-0 draw at Manchester United eight days later, De Bruyne has managed just one substitute appearance in the league and the 22-year-old was reportedly relegated to the reserves by boss Jose Mourinho after a disappointing display against Swindon in the League Cup in August.
Mourinho subsequently stormed out a press conference after being repeatedly asked about his treatment of the Belgian, insisting there was no issue between himself and the player.
De Bruyne impressed last season on loan at Werder Bremen and has been linked with a return to the Bundesliga club in a bid to find first team football ahead of next summer’s World Cup.
And in a controversial interview with Belgian newspaper Sport Wereld, Hazard says it would be best if his compatriot left West London.
“Playing a World Cup after having not played for a year is very difficult,” Hazard said when asked about De Bruyne.
“To depart and play further forward would be good for him and for the team. If we want to get the best from Kevin, it is better that he leaves. But he’s a big boy. He must make his own choices.”