Spanish Media Sharpening Their Knives For Struggling Eden Hazard

Spanish Media Sharpening Their Knives For Struggling Eden Hazard
Fecha de publicación: 
16 January 2021
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After one of the more protracted transfer sagas in recent years, Eden Hazard finally left Chelsea for Real Madrid in the summer of 2019 for a fee reported to end up at a whopping €150 million. But things have never taken off for Hazard in Madrid and the latest reports are that the pressure is mounting.

Eden Hazard established himself as arguably the best player in the Premier League during his time at Chelsea and having been long-coveted by Madrid, searching for their next wave of 'Galacticos' in the post-Ronaldo era, his talent seemed like an ideal fit for the Santiago Bernabeu.

AS’s Cover | “No sign of Hazard: The Belgian is still very far from his level in Chelsea.”

The signing was endorsed by Zinedine Zidane who had publicly declared his admiration for Hazard long before he arrived in Madrid, so Hazard already had an important ally from the beginning. But in truth, his first 18 months at the club have been a nightmare.

A combination of injuries and loss of form have prevented Hazard from gathering any kind of momentum in the Madrid shirt, and he has produced a measly return of 3 goals in 32 appearances since arriving from Chelsea. In recent days Zidane and the likes of Luka Modric have been forced to speak out in defence of Hazard who's form is being questioned by the notoriously critical Spanish media.

 MODRIC: "Hazard has had injuries and has not been able to show his level. He is a great player and he will show it with regularity.”

Hazard's Madrid career reached a new low in their last outing, a 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish Super Cup semi-final, that saw the Belgian hauled off on 67 minutes, having failed to complete a successful dribble in the entire game. The influential Spanish outlet Marca were highly critical of both Hazard's form and the recent decision-making of Zidane.

Zidane: "Eden has to regain a little confidence, play a good game, score a goal. Something different. Little by little. We know what he’s capable of and we have to be patient. He’s working hard.”

There has never been a doubt regarding the talent of Eden Hazard, who's breathtaking performances for Chelsea caught delivered two Premier League titles and earned him a PFA Player of the Year award in the process. But there have been questions in the past regarding his motivation and desire to push his talent as far as it can go.

Marca’s Cover “Hazard misses another train: His form worries the club.”

At the start of both seasons he has spent in Spain, Hazard was reported to have showed up for pre-season out of shape - a worrying sign considering the size of the transfer fee and the expectation levels that were placed on Hazard from the unforgiving Madrid supporters. And since then injuries and bad luck have played their part in eroding the Belgian's confidence, who now looks a shadow of the player he was in England.

At 30 years of age and on huge money, it is difficult to see too many viable transfer options for Hazard if Madrid decide to cut their losses and try to offload him. If Gareth Bale's experience in the last few years at Madrid can act as a cautionary tale, then Hazard will need to turn the tide and find his form very quickly to salvage his career at the Bernabeu.

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