Does Eden Hazard need more time to adapt to Real Madrid?

Eden Hazard left Chelsea at the end of last season in style. He scored a brace to help Maurizio Sarri’s side win the Europa League after a difficult year for the manager. Since the start of 2018/19, his move to Real Madrid looked imminent. This was made a reality in the summer when Los Blancos confirmed a €100 million deal for the Belgian. The epitome of a Galactico signing. But it hasn’t exactly gone to plan for him since then…

Expectations were inevitably high for the 28 year old. He arrived off the back of a stellar campaign for The Blues and was expected to take his game to the next level. But he’s only managed 1 goal and 1 assist in 8 La Liga games so far. Not the impact you expect from someone with his reputation.

Eden Hazard’s Premier League stats 2018/19:

Appearances: 37

Goals: 16

Assists: 15

Going into more depth, Hazard’s key passes and shots per game are down from last season too. 2.6 and 2.5 for Chelsea compared to 1.4 and 1.1 for Madrid respectively. But surprisingly, his dribbles are up from 3.7 to a staggering 4.4 per game. Just seems like the end product is lacking for the Belgian international. Perhaps he needs more time to adapt to the league? Stats courtesy of WhoScored.com

Injury setbacks

These early struggles have also been explained by his recent injuries. A thigh injury meant he missed the opening fixtures for Madrid. The pressure and expectation to see their new signing in action may have forced Zidane to rush him into action. This might be a stretch, but Hazard may have been carrying the injury when he started playing again. While writing this, it’s just been confirmed he suffered a bruised leg against PSG. Though not serious as first thought, it’s another set back for the former Lille winger.

Eden Hazard

Is Eden Hazard overweight?

There have also been questions about the 2 time Premier League champion’s weight. He reportedly arrived at the Bernabeu in pre-season overweight. However, he has since come out and said he can easily gain and lose weight. I’m convinced this isn’t the issue and in fact, it’s just a question of adapting to playing in Spain.

“When I was 18 and with Lille, I weighed 72 kilos. This summer I went up to 80 kilos but managed to lose this in just over ten days”.

Eden Hazard on his weight

Eden Hazard is a joy to watch in full flow. Hopefully he can find his Chelsea form and start tearing up defences in La Liga and the Champions League.

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