Chelsea manager Antonio Conte says he is surprised that Belgium invited Eden Hazard to the national team for their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers.

The playmaker has not played competitive football since suffering an ankle injury while on international duty back in June.

Hazard had to undergo surgery and he missed the pre-season games as he battled fitness concerns. The Italian claims the player should have been given time to fully recover. Conte might be afraid of his star player injuring himself again or straining the recovering ankle while on international duty. Chelsea have missed him so far and any more strains would really set the club against his national team.

“I was a coach of the national team with Italy so I respect the decision of the coach. If Hazard isn’t ready he will not play, it’s why he doesn’t play with us,” Conte proclaimed.

Hazard has missed three games in the Premier League so far. His absence is obvious as Chelsea try to hold on to the title they won in May.

Belgium would play hosts to Gibraltar on August 31 and then face Greece away on September 3. Conte would surely reach out to the Belgium coach Roberto Martinez about the call-up. If the player is not fully fit, Hazard might not be allowed to travel for the international fixtures.

While Chelsea is keen on making the player comfortable, there are still links to Real Madrid. Though Zinedine Zidane did not get a major signing this summer, as he feels the squad is strong enough, Hazard might be the next marquee signing for next year as Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Luka Modric age the more. For now, he is set to remain in west London.