Antonio Rudiger thinks that his Chelsea teammate Eden Hazard will not be able to score 40 goals this season, saying that the Belgian superstar is too unselfish to reach that milestone.

Despite having been eased to the Chelsea squad due to his exploits with Belgium at the World Cup, Hazard made a spectacular beginning to the new Premier League season, amassing five goals in the Blues’ first five matches. Such sparkling performances in front of goal has seen Maurizio Sarri set a target of 40 goals for the 27-year-old back in September yet after a blistering start, things have gone to a slog for Hazard in front of goal.

Since then, the Chelsea winger has only scored three league goals, bringing his total in the league at nine, with his latest goal in the 2-1 defeat of Brighton his first in the Premier League since just over two months. Asked on whether Hazard would be able to reach the 40-goal target set by their head coach, Rudiger expressed doubt regarding the feat.

The German international argues that first of all, the quality of the Premier League would make such task difficult for any player, before adding that Hazard is too selfless of a player not to lay the ball unto a teammate in a better goalscoring position.

“He is human, of course, he is. But the way he is playing is fantastic, we all know what he is capable of,” said the German central defender. “I am happy that he scored. He is a leader. He provides a good example, not by speaking but by showing. He gets kicked often because he is good.

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“With respect to the others, I think in the Premier League they are not stupid players, so to reach 40 goals? Maybe he can do it. But what he does is OK. We need to respect the other teams, it’s not like they are bad or something. He does not have too much of an ego. If he sees other players standing in a better position, he plays them in.”