Eden Hazard has been a forgotten man at Real Madrid.
The Belgium international joined Los Blancos for a colossal transfer fee of €100 million in 2019. But the former Chelsea star has had little to no impact in the Spanish capital.
Persistent injury issues have prevented him from becoming a Real Madrid squad regular.
Out of 175 possible matches, he had worn the Real Madrid shirt on only 71 occasions.
Fun fact; he is yet to feature in an El Clásico despite being at the club for three years. The only two times he played against Real Madrid’s arch-nemesis Barcelona in his career were back in his Chelsea days.
The Spanish media has continuously bashed Hazard for his indifferent attitude at Madrid.
He has repeatedly shown up in the Madrid camp unfit. Apart from injuries, the 31-year-old did not do much to control his physique.
He had often been overweight and had to burn out the fat in the gym while his Real Madrid colleagues were deep into the season.
This season was supposed to be a different narrative for the Belgian.
Eden Hazard had a full preseason for the first time in his Real Madrid career. He told the media that he is eager to reward the Madridistas for the continuous support they have shown him by fulfilling his potential.
We have all seen the charisma of Hazard’s world-class talent at Chelsea. The forward was confident that 22/23 would be his breakthrough Real Madrid season.
But reality had other plans.
Hazard has been available for selection for all matches this season, but he has struggled to get minutes.
Out of the possible 16 appearances this season, Hazard has only managed to grace the pitch five times.
Even though Hazard was a big signing and went missing for prolonged periods, his absence did not hurt Real Madrid’s on-pitch success.
After Hazard arrived at the club, Madrid have won two La Ligas and a Champions League.
But Hazard cannot say that he had played an important role in any of those achievements.
As Hazard became a common resident in the Real Madrid dressing room, other players have filled his void perfectly.
Vinícius Jr. has established himself as Karim Benzema’s most trusted attacking partner.
Rodrygo reaped rewards of his successful substitute appearances to cement a starting position this season.
Fede Valverde’s versatility in wider positions and midfield makes him an undroppable name in the lineup. Even Marco Asensio seems to be higher in the pecking order than Hazard.
With chances coming at a premium, it seems unlikely that Eden Hazard will be able to resuscitate his Madrid career.
Madrid never suffered in his absence, so it’s becoming increasingly difficult for him to convince Ancelotti that he deserves a consistent run of games. Being a fringe player in the squad seems to be his future at Real Madrid.
Eden Hazard might still have a lot to offer. But he might have to leave Real Madrid to write a befitting end to his marvellous football career.
We might see him looking for a new club next summer if things don’t change.