Wilmots: Hazard needs more than talent
Hazard has been one of the stars of the French season, his dazzling wing-play helping Lille establish a four-point lead at the top of the table, but he has had to content himself with a place on the bench for his national team.
His performances have seen him linked with some of Europe's glamour clubs, including Arsenal and Real Madrid, but former international Wilmots, believes the 20-year-old needs to become more consistent.
"Eden has everything to get to the top level," Wilmots told the RTBF broadcasting organisation. "I'm not talking about Lille, but the real top level in England or Spain. But to get there, talent alone will not suffice. He can change a match at any moment but in his game there are still moments of absence. That's what he has to work on, his consistency."
Wilmots also expressed concern about Hazard's media profile in France and drew comparisons with Lyon playmaker Yoann Gourcuff, who has suffered a prolonged slump in form since inspiring Bordeaux to the title in 2009.
"Some people only see Eden's qualities," said Wilmots. "The French press are sometimes blinded by his moments of magic. What they're saying about Eden today, they were saying a year and a half ago about Gourcuff. Today, with hindsight, can we be sure that they did him (Gourcuff) a favour?"
Belgium are currently second in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying Group A, five points behind group leaders Germany, after winning their last two matches. Hazard remained on the bench during the 2-0 win in Austria last Friday and only played the final half hour of Tuesday's 4-1 defeat of Azerbaijan.
"Unfortunately for Eden, the richness of our attacking sector is currently exceptional," explained Wilmots. I like Hazard a lot. He's a very important player for the squad."