Eden Hazard Could Become Another Underwhelming Galactico

Back in June 2019, Real Madrid completed the signing of Eden Hazard from Chelsea in a deal worth up to £150 million. The transfer was somewhat predictable, with Belgian long speaking of his admiration for the Spanish giants. However, since swapping Stamford Bridge for the Santiago Bernabeu, the 29-year-old has struggled in performing to his top-class best. So, let’s take a look at whether he can turn his fortunes around, or if he’s destined to go down as an expensive flop. 

A Dream Move That’s Failed to Live Up to Expectations

By his own admission, joining the most successful side in Champions League history saw him complete a lifelong dream, according to a report by The Guardian. Although moving to the Spanish capital may have started as a surreal experience, the pressures of being a Galactico soon became a reality for the Belgian winger. 

In his opening season with Los Blancos, Hazard featured in just 16 matches, two of which came from the subs bench. Regarding his statistical return, the 29-year-old recorded some respectable figures. Across those La Liga appearances, Hazard scored one goal and assisted a further six, as per his profile at ESPN. 

Despite that, his inability to feature in the majority of the club’s matches resulted in numerous sections of the Los Blancos fan base turn on their most expensive signing. Not only that, but the Spanish media also began to lose faith with the former Chelsea attacker. GiveMeSport report that Marca listed Hazard as Madrid’s second-worst Galactico signing, only ahead of Michael Owen

No Denying the Belgian’s Talent, But What About Fitness? 

In Hazard’s defence, while his on-field performances have been somewhat unrecognizable from his Premier League days at Stamford Bridge, he has also suffered an array of fitness and injury problems while in the Spanish capital. Since joining Real Madrid in June 2019, Hazard has thus far missed a total of 35 games through various injuries. According to Transfermarkt, the worst of which was a hairline crack in his foot, which kept him out for 17 matches between December 2019 and February 2020.  

Perhaps now it’s not so much of a case of whether the Belgian can adapt to the Spanish league as much as whether he can stay free of injuries. From a talent standpoint, few in the current era of football have the ability to single-handedly win games quite like the 29-year-old, although that’s somewhat meaningless if he can’t take to the field consistently enough. 

If Los Blancos are to retain the Spanish title and make a push for their 14th Champions League triumph, then they’ll need Hazard to recapture his best form and fitness. As of October 27th, Zinedine Zidane’s side are currently 11/10 with La Liga betting to win back-to-back titles, beating the likes of Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, and Sevilla to the crown. 

How Much More Time Can Madrid Give Hazard? 

Hazard’s record speaks for itself and, because of that, he’s earned the right to be shown some patience. That said, starting just 14 league games during the 2019-20 season and then going into the current campaign injured isn’t a good look for the Belgian. Of course, injuries are an inevitability, but Madrid are ruthless operators and could soon consider cutting their losses on the 29-year-old.

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