Eden Hazard’s life has been tough in the last few months. It is rare to see the Belgian go through tough times after a brilliant spell at Chelsea, but that’s just life. Real Madrid presents a different challenge and Hazard is slowly coming into his own.

It was graft and struggle early on for the winger. Signed for a fee that exceeded £150 million, he was expected to set the world on fire from day one. He certainly had what it takes, as evident from how good he was during his spell at Stamford Bridge.

Hazard failed to score or assist in his first three La Liga games and didn’t impress much in the Champions League. There were remarks about his body shape and lack of fitness, as many ran out of reasons for as to why he hadn’t settled in well.

Today’s numbers stand at one goal and one assists. He has played in seven games- starting six of them. That isn’t a huge number for a player like him. It isn’t good enough for someone who was signed for big money.

But fans sometimes fail to take into consideration that every player is different. Not every player can score on his debut like Anthony Martial did for Manchester United. No matter how young or old players are, they always take time to settle into a new league.

Spanish newspaper Marca never helped. They called him a worse signing than Michael Owen. Arsene Wenger has said that his struggles are down to his ‘weight issues‘, as everyone keeps scrounging for many reasons.

But it is fair to say that the recent game against Eibar was Hazard’s best in a Real Madrid shirt. While he didn’t score a goal, Hazard gave the impression of being closer to his Chelsea version.

The former Lille man player on the left of a 4-3-3 shape, with young Federico Valverde playing on the left side of the midfield.

The Belgium man completed seven dribbles in the game– the highest by any player on the pitch. He attempted as many as ten of them, completing them with a 70 percent accuracy.

With a passing percentage of 86, Hazard played one key pass. While that part of the game did hold him back but he was flying when he was on the ball. He was going past players like they weren’t there. He seemed to be enjoying himself.

Even in the game against Leganes, Hazard impressed. In that too, he completed seven dribbles out of nine attempts. But he was also dispossessed as many as five times in that home game. And the Eibar game was the best of the bunch so far.

Perhaps, it was a matter of time. Or it was a matter of confidence for Hazard. A player like him needs goals to build his confidence.

And this comes at the right time. With the game against Paris Saint-Germain coming up and the El Clasico coming up next month, Real would need an on form Hazard against Barcelona.

 

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Kaustubh Pandey

European Football Writer. Featured on Calciomercato, FootballItalia, GetGermanFootballNews, GetFrenchFootballNews, Manchester Evening News, TheseFootballTimes, The Times, Manchester United and more.
Kaustubh Pandey