When Eden Hazard arrived at Real Madrid from Chelsea in a deal worth more than €100 million, it appeared as though Los Blancos had got their hands on one of Europe’s most impressive talents.
Since putting pen to paper on a contract worth €9 million per year, however, Hazard has failed to have virtually any impact at all in Madrid, and now appears surplus to requirements at a club that completed a league and UCL double last season.
By entering the Betright new bonus code and cashing in on the brand’s welcome offer, you can back Madrid at 5/4 to retain their La Liga crown next term. But what’s next for Hazard, and why did it all go wrong in Spain?
The Failure of Hazard at the Bernabeu
Hazard arrived in Spain on the back of three exceptional seasons at Chelsea, during which he scored 55 goals in 146 appearances and won three major honours (including the Premier League in 2016/17).
He also laid on 27 goals for his teammates during this time, while lighting up the EPL with his dazzling dribbling and ball control skills.
However, Hazard’s three seasons in Spain have been incredibly different and challenging, despite the relative success in Real both at home and on the continent.
More specifically, the Belgian has made just 66 appearances for Los Blancos since his debut in 2019, with issues surrounding form and fitness having hindered his progress in the Spanish capital.
During these 66 games, Hazard has scored just six times and assisted on 10 further occasions, equating to a goal involvement every four games or so. This is highly disappointing when you consider the Belgian’s quality and profile, while Hazard’s failure to build fitness and prevent weight gain has held him back even further.
What Has Gone Wrong and What’s Next?
Last season was particularly disappointing for Hazard, who appeared just 23 times and provided three goal involvements (including one goal and two assists).
Hazard’s own lack of performance also contrasted sharply with the achievements of his teammates, who romped to the La Liga title and won a record-extending 14th UCL title after beating Liverpool in the final.
It appears as though the club have finally lost patience too, and want to cash in on Hazard as an asset as he continues to age. Of course, they’re willing to take a small financial hit given the Belgian’s dwindling stock, but it will probably take a bid of at least €50 to secure any kind of deal.
Ultimately, it will be Hazard’s fundamental lack of fitness and apparent lack of motivation that has undermined his future at Madrid, with Carlo Ancelotti building a hungry and increasingly dynamic side that combines youth with experience.
Given the increased emphasis on energy and pressing at the elite level of the game, it’s hard to see Hazard being snapped up by any of the other top clubs in Europe. Bayern Munich may be an exception to this rule, with the Bavarians known for playing with natural width and revitalising the careers of ailing superstars (think of Philippe Coutinho, for example).
Otherwise, Hazard may need to drop down a level to kickstart a career that has stalled significantly of late, with some even suggesting that the Belgian could follow his former Real teammate to the MLS on a loan deal.