Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard has been linked with a January move to Arsenal. REUTERS

Joe Cole believes "fearless" Lille playmaker Eden Hazard has the potential to be as good as Lionel Messi, but cautioned the player should reject a move to Arsenal in January.

Hazard has recently attracted the interest of some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Arsenal and Chelsea.

The on-loan Liverpool midfielder suggested Hazard is good enough to emulate Barcelona star Lionel Messi and revealed the Belgium international still have room for improvement.

"Hazard is different class. He's still only 21 and has definitely got another few gears to go up. He's got the same attitude as Rooney had at that age - he's fearless.

"He knows how good he is, and that's a positive. All the top players have got that belief and a bit of presence and arrogance, and he's like that.

"He's a bit like Messi. There's only one Messi and I don't want to put pressure on the kid, but he's like him - short, squat, powerful legs, great touch, he can finish, he's got everything.

Lille have slapped a £30m valuation on Hazard in an attempt to dissuade bids in January but the player's high price tag is unlikely to dissuade clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City and Barcelona from trying to prise him away from Ligue 1.

"The best thing is for him to stay at Lille for as long as he can," Cole added. "He's playing for a good club, winning titles and there's plenty of time to go elsewhere. The fans love him, the players love him and we want him to stay."