We thought he was finally launched after his goal and his assist in the Champions League against Celtic Glasgow, but since then, Eden Hazard has returned to square one at Real Madrid, namely on the bench. If he played an hour against Mallorca in the league last weekend, he simply stayed on the sidelines throughout the match against Leipzig despite the absence of Karim Benzema. The situation becomes worrying again for the Red Devil.
However, during the summer preparation, Carlo Ancelotti was pleased to find an Eden Hazard in good physical condition and spared from injury. Passed behind Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo in the hierarchy of wingers, a new role has been assigned to him as Karim Benzema’s understudy at centre-forward. A supersub role that could give new impetus to the adventure of the captain of the Devils in Madrid. And that was quickly verified when the Brainois replaced the injured Benzema against Celtic Glasgow after just half an hour.
For sixty minutes, Hazard did what he knows (or knew?) to do best, namely torment the opposing defense with his dribbling, fluid movements and quick combinations. With, icing on the cake, a goal and an assist. This performance was to mark the start of Brainois’ new career at Real Madrid.
“He is a great player and he is very talented. The assist and the goal show who he is. He will be happy and he has proven to the manager that he deserves more opportunities”, explained Thibaut Courtois after the meeting, while the spanish press was already wondering if “the Belgian would not be the transfer of the summer.”
A short-lived brightening
Still taking advantage of Karim Benzema’s injury, the former Blue followed up with a first start this season against Mallorca. But against the Balearic club, Hazard did not have the expected performance, leaving on the hour mark while the score was still 1-1. And it was only after the Devil’s exit that Los Blancos finally emerged. “Hazard tried what I asked of him: leaving the position and the spaces for the others. It was a positive match”tried to reassure Ancelotti at the end of the meeting.
But the damage was done and the little credit that Hazard had managed to garner against Celtic was already gone. “The former Chelsea player seemed to have finally seen the light at the end of the tunnel”explains Mundo Deportivo qualifying his match against Celtic as his best performance since joining Real Madrid, “but three days later, against Mallorca, the Belgian returned to his old ways and tiptoed past the wall erected by Javier Aguirre, the Mallorca coach. Voluntary but ill-advised, Hazard had little impact in a match ultimately decanted by Rodrygo’s foresight between the lines.”
Facing Mallorca, the Belgian had missed his chance and was already returning to the bench for the C1 match against Leipzig, Ancelotti preferring Rodrygo to him at the forefront. Despite the difficulties of Merengues to break the German lock, the rise of Brainois was never considered by his coach. Asensio, Kroos, Mendy and even Mariano Diaz and Dani Ceballos came on as our compatriot languished on the bench.
“Rodrygo forced his way through being chosen by Ancelotti as a centre-forward against Leipzig while Hazard returned to his usual place: the bench. The Belgian watched the whole match from the touchline and even Asensio passed him in front on the way up. The Spaniard’s good upside doesn’t help Hazard either. Where Asensio scored points, the Belgian lost credit.”worries Mundo Deportivo about the turn of events for our compatriot.
This Sunday, during the derby against Atletico Madrid, Carlo Ancelotti will still have to do without Karim Benzema. But the Iberian press is once again pessimistic for Hazard because everything indicates that Rodrygo should once again be placed at the forefront of the Merengues attack. And with KB9 likely to return after the international break, opportunities for Eden Hazard to show that his display against Celtic was more than a flash in the pan will be increasingly rare.