Mata was undisputedly the best player during those pre-Jose years mentioned. Forgive me for saying so, but you speak very dismissively of a player who performed feats that no ever midfielder had ever performed or will probably ever perform.
Lampard was supremely consistent, very intelligent, had the mental attributes of a true champion, a leader. He was always involved in goals and chances whenever he played, either through scoring, assisting, making key passes, set peices, etc. If anything, most of the team's good play went through Lampard.
Just because he wasn't a dribbler and wasn't foreign doesn't give anyone any right to speak of him in that way.
He scored an insane amount of goals from MIDFIELD, made an insane amount goals, made the team click, forced the issue when needed and calmed the play when needed. How many times did he come up with match winners and important goals when there was no one else? He scored tap in's, wonder goals, freekicks, pens under pressure, all on the biggest stages and season after season, over and over and over.
You can talk about Hazard and what he has achieved thus far, but will he be burnt out in a few years? What will he be doing when he is in his 30s?
All that and we haven't even mentioned the professionalism and example he would have setv for others and the youth and his influence behind the scenes at the club.
I think the very person he is being compared to would probably echo those feelings himself, if we are to go by his words and interviews.
And as for today's grotesquely bloated transfer fees where unproven youngsters are being bought for 35m and 40m, a prime Lampard would imho easily cost 80m+ if fees were measured on footballing value alone.
Maybe some of the feeling towards Hazard is a little unwarranted, but I hope we can keep Frank Lampard out of that.