Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has revealed Eden Hazard is a candidate to succeed John Terry as club captain.
Hazard's importance at Stamford Bridge reached new levels last season, after he played an integral role in their Premier League and Capital One Cup success.
While there is unlikely to be a shift in the captaincy until 35-year-old Terry leaves the club, Mourinho insists the Belgium international has shown him the leadership qualities that will see him considered for the armband when the time comes.
"On the pitch he leads," Mourinho told the Evening Standard. "He is not afraid to take responsibility. He is not afraid to get the team in a dark situation and bring blue sky again. He is not afraid of this. He is a guy with great discipline. He is not the kind of guy you see setting bad examples."
There is unlikely to be any shortage of candidates for the role of captain when Terry does decide to step aside, with Gary Cahill, Nemanja Matic and Branislav Ivanovic all in contention.
But Hazard would appear to be in within a real shout, with Mourinho singling out the former Lille star as one of the most influential figures in his squad.
"His ambition is coming," the Chelsea boss continued. "He is also the vice-captain of the Belgian national team. He is in his fourth season at Chelsea so he didn't arrive yesterday.
"Eden is coming with a big status now and was voted one of the top ten players in Europe last year. In my opinion he should be in the top three not in the top ten. Let's see what is going to happen but we have these people. But let's say John and Branislav are our captains and the others are ready to come."