Cape Town - Cesc Fabregas believes Eden Hazard plays the same role for Chelsea that former team-mate Lionel Messi does for Barcelona.
Fabregas returned to England following a three-year spell at boyhood club Barca, joining the Blues in a €33 million deal and has made an immediate impact at Stamford Bridge.
Having featured in all of his new team's seven Premier League games as the west Londoners romped to the top of the table, Fabregas believes Hazard will be a key player in their title tilt this season.
"He is the link between midfield and attack for us; he is our Messi because he makes the difference," the Spaniard told radio station Cope.
"We have a young team but we are very positive about the future."
Much has been made of the club Fabregas joined on his return to England, considering his connection with Arsenal.
But the 27-year-old says a face-to-face talk with Blues boss Jose Mourinho made the decision easy for him, despite having three offers in England.
"I've always played in clubs where I wanted to play. At the end of last season, I saw Chelsea as the best option," Fabregas added.
"I always thought about a return to England and I talked to Mourinho and realised this was the best option.
"It was arranged through my agent. There was no call with Mourinho, just a face-to-face meeting. Jose showed great respect and convinced me quickly.
"We were honest, we put aside any history and I made my decision after talking with him. Overall I had three options in England."