LONDON -- Chelsea star Eden Hazard does not believe Maurizio Sarri will be able to transform him into the kind of prolific scoring false nine that Dries Mertens blossomed into under the Italian at Napoli.
Hazard passed the century mark for Chelsea goals in a 2-1 win over Watford at Vicarage Road on Wednesday, having been deployed in the middle of Sarri's three-man attack for the fourth consecutive Premier League game.
Those four appearances have yielded three goals and three assists for Hazard -- raising hopes that he could make a similar transition to Mertens, who netted 28 goals in 35 Serie A appearances in the 2016-17 season after Sarri shifted him centrally.
Hazard, however, has different ideas.
"Dries is more of a striker than me," he insisted. "I am more like a playmaker. Since I started [playing] football I like to come and touch the ball. Dries is not like this, he just wants to stay in the box. That's why he scores a lot of goals.
"We are different, but I know Sarri likes to change some positions and that happens sometimes."
Asked if he thinks he will score more regularly if he plays as a striker full-time, Hazard replied: "Yes, for sure. But I will score more goals also if I play as a winger... my position is winger.
"I feel better as a winger, but like [against Watford] I did well as a striker, against Brighton I did well as a striker, so the manager chooses where to put me on the pitch and then I try to do my best."
With 10 goals and nine assists in 18 Premier League appearances, Hazard is on course to produce the best statistical season of his Chelsea career -- but he still believes he is short of the standard he maintained to win the PFA Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards in 2014-15.
"I score more goals, but I don't feel I play better," he insisted. "I just score more goals."
Hazard also raised hopes among Chelsea supporters that he will stay at the club beyond this season after the Watford win, when he claimed that he wants to earn comparable legend status to the likes of John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba at Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are desperate to ward off interest from Real Madrid by committing their superstar to a new long-term contract, but Hazard has not wavered in his determination to keep his options open.
"I am just focused on the pitch," he said when asked about his future. "I will see at the end of the season."