Moroccan ace Boufal marked his first Saints start with a wonder-goal in the EFL Cup, after a night of tormenting Sunderland’s backline.
And Puel, who coached Belgian megastar Hazard as a teenager at Lille, thinks his £16m man can brighten the Premier League like his former protege.
Saints host Chelsea tomorrow and Puel said: “There are possibilities for them both to dribble.
“They both make a difference with the ball”
Southampton boss on Sofiane Boufal and Chelsea’s Eden Hazard
“They both make a difference with the ball, going past four or five players perhaps, but with different qualities.
“Eden Hazard is a strong little man with strength in his legs and it’s difficult to move him. He has the capacity and the ability to dribble and resist all the defenders.
“Boufal is light and has the capacity to dribble, but without this strong body – but he can have fantastic moments also.”
Puel is well aware of the problems Hazard can cause his side with the Belgium star having scored four in his four starts for club and country.
And he remembers the first time he was wowed by him.
Puel said: “I know Eden very well. I started him in the first team at Lille when he was just 16. He was a young player without structure but with the same qualities.
“He was a fantastic player and stayed a fantastic player and you can see this. He takes pleasure in football.
“He still has the same capabilities as the first time for Lille when he played against Bruges in a friendly game.
“He took the ball and dribbled past five or six opponents and had the capacity to stay in control of the ball and give a very good ball for the striker.
“He has stayed the same.”