If there’s one player that is widely loved around the world for his style of play: it’s Eden Hazard. The Belgian rose to the occasion against Elche in the Copa del Rey Round of 16 after scoring a late winner to book Los Blancos’ spot in the quarter-finals of the domestic cup. Many consider this to be Hazard’s lightbulb moment in his Real Madrid career.
Hazard’s goal against Elche has been deemed to be the missing piece in the puzzle for him to turn around his career at the Spanish capital. However, this has often been the case for the Belgian since signing for Real Madrid in 2019.
In the past three seasons, whenever Eden Hazard has scored or performed well, fans immediately hope that this could be the moment for Hazard to refind his old form. What’s followed is either another injury setback or relapse or just decent performances that are simply not enough.
While previously Hazard continuously struggled with injuries, the Belgian has somewhat been relieved of his injury worries and woes this season. Despite overcoming his physical issues, Eden Hazard has faced an uphill battle to secure regular minutes after falling down the pecking order of wingers under Carlo Ancelotti.
With Hazard being sidelined to the bench despite being fit and Real Madrid continuing winning without their record signing – it makes absolutely no sense to continue with the 31-year-old, especially because of his sky-high wages.
The clubs seem to have understood the current situation and are willing to listen to offers for Eden Hazard in the summer transfer market of 2022, reports MARCA’S Mario Cortegana. The report also states that Eden Hazard is open to leaving but is committed to completing the season before moving on. Let us now look into three possible reasons why Hazard wants to leave Real Madrid.
1. HIS CAREER HAS FURTHER STAGNATED THIS SEASON
Although Carlo Ancelotti recently stated that Eden Hazard is part of his plans for next season. I highly doubt that the 31-year-old would continue at the club after the end of this season for various reasons which we will get to shortly.
Hazard’s first two seasons at the Spanish capital were disappointing, to say the least, and this season has not been quite different either but at least his injury worries seem to have come to an end. Despite being fit regularly, the former Chelsea player has found it difficult under Carlo Ancelotti to secure regular minutes.
He got his fair shot of opportunities early on last year but failed to seize them. Ancelotti was quick to recognise that Vinicius Jr is a better option on the left-wing and his performances this season speak for itself.
According to FBREF, Eden Hazard has only played 649 minutes so far in La Liga out of a possible 1980 minutes. His percentage of minutes played this season is only 32.8 in the league and it’s not because he’s been injured or struggled with fitness issues either.
In the long run, it simply does not make sense to hold onto such a high-profile player on sky-high wages when he does not even play 50% of the available minutes. It’s a loss-loss situation for both the player and the club eventually. If Hazard can’t break into the eleven now, I don’t see how he’s going to improve his situation next year with the possible arrival of Kylian Mbappe and maybe Erling Haaland too.
2. EDEN HAZARD PROBABLY WANTS A FRESH START ONCE AGAIN
Eden Hazard always dreamt of playing for Real Madrid and he certainly was destined to play for us as well. But the way things have turned out for him since he signed for us in 2019, is definitely one of the most unfortunate and sad stories in football history.
Eden Hazard was a god amongst mere men at Chelsea and he ravaged the Premier League with his nimble and skillful feet. The expectations were set high for Hazard when he signed for Real Madrid as he was arguably one of the world’s best players then. What followed is a tragic story that nobody could have predicted.
At first, it felt like maybe his debut season was just a rough one. Smooth seas don’t make good sailors and it was expected that Hazard would bounce back after a turbulent first season. But nothing seems to have changed, his second campaign was marred with injuries, and this season he’s fallen down the pecking order.
Three years have gone by and Eden Hazard is nowhere close to living up to the club record transfer fee that Real Madrid paid for in 2019. The Belgian himself probably knows that there’s not much scope left in turning his situation around especially since the club would most likely sign Kylian Mbappe next summer and that would definitely put Hazard out of a competition for a starting spot.
At the age of 31, Eden Hazard seems to have finally got a hold of his fitness issues and injuries that have haunted him for the past two seasons. There’s no doubt that he’s still a top-class player and Hazard could uplift and turn around his career if he leaves for a club that assures him regular minutes next summer.
Hazard has been linked with a return to Chelsea and the Belgian himself stated in his farewell message to the Blues that he would return to Stamford Bridge when he finishes his time at Real Madrid. At the moment, it looks like Hazard’s reached the final few months of his career in white and a move back to Chelsea or even the Premier League might be the perfecting stepping stone to salvage his career.
3. REAL MADRID HAVE NO OPTION BUT TO MOVE ON FROM EDEN HAZARD
61 appearances in all competitions, six goals, and 10 assists for Real Madrid after the club spent 100 million euros on his transfer (excluding commissions and bonuses), it’s certainly not a great return on investment. Not to forget to mention, he’s also the highest-paid player at the club.
Despite two years being left on his contract, Real Madrid simply cannot continue with Eden Hazard. It does not make any sense to continue with the Belgian beyond this season from a sporting and financial perspective. There’s nothing unique that Hazard offers for him to continue next season and neither does he deserve to be on the wages that he currently is on.
Although the more, Hazard’s departure will be key in signing Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland in order to accommodate their wage demands.
At the moment, Hazard is expected to receive a run of games after scoring the winner against Elche. Even if the 31-year-old goes on to perform extremely well until the end of the season, it should not change the club’s stance over his future.
The better Eden Hazard performs now, the better it is for the club as they could fetch a significantly higher transfer fee in the summer.
A front three of Vinicius Jr, Karim Benzema, and Kylian Mbappe would be the ideal attacking trident next season. On the bench, Carlo Ancelotti would have Rodrygo, Marco Asensio, and possibly Luka Jovic (if Haaland does not sign for Madrid) thus giving the Italian enough depth to work with. Hazard’s departure could also free up space in the attack for a promising youngster from the Castilla to add depth to the squad.