Brian McDermott wary of "phenomenal" Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard
© PA Photos
Reading manager Brian McDermott recalls the first time that he saw Eden Hazard as a 16-year-old playing in France.

Reading manager Brian McDermott has revealed that he first came across Chelsea midfielder Eden Hazard five years ago while working as the Royals' chief scout.

McDermott, whose side visit Stamford Bridge in the Premier League tonight, says that even as a 16-year-old Hazard was "phenomenal".

"I would go to three games over the weekend starting on Friday night and one of them on this particular trip was at Lille," he recalled.

"You can't go to a place like Lille and say 'we'll take your best player', it just doesn't happen. But I remember watching him.

"He was phenomenal and everyone there knew at 16 what a talent he was going to be. He stood out like the proverbial sore thumb."

Hazard made 147 Ligue 1 appearances during his time with Lille, scoring 36 goals.

Eden Hazard
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