Hazard against his only victim

When Real Madrid signed Eden Hazard, in addition to securing a player who could excite the crowd at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, he was a signing that was expected to bring goals.

You only have to look at the Belgian's numbers at Chelsea to see why this was the case.

"A 20-goal player," they said at the Bernabeu. It wasn't an exaggeration.

Hazard, considered to be the best player in the Premier League and a target for Pep Guardiola, had just scored 21 goals in the 2018/19 season, 17 in 2017/18 and 2016/17, just six in 2015/17, but 20 in 2014/15.

His adventure at Chelsea ended with 110 goals and 92 assists in 352 games, which speaks to his influence on the Blues' attack during his time there.

In a Real Madrid shirt, however, Hazard has netted just one goal.

It came against Granada on October 5 when the 29-year-old, after a shaky start and overcoming a muscle injury, was starting to take off.

He scored a goal and provided an assist in his 69 minutes on the pitch against Diego Martinez's side, with Zinedine Zidane keen to ease Hazard back into the swing of things.

At the time, Hazard was saying about how well he was adapting to life at Real Madrid and that he wanted to bring a lot of joy to the club's supporters.

Since then, though, he hasn't found the back of the net.

The months of October and November saw Hazard go from strength to strength, with his displays against Eibar and Paris Saint-Germain standing out, but he was unlucky in front of goal during that time. Then came the injuries.

Looking purely at the numbers, the forward's debut season in the Spanish capital is far from impressive.

Yet, when he hasn't been injured or carrying a knock, his talent is there to see.

After the coronavirus-enforced break, it was thought that Hazard would be Real Madrid's star 'signing', but the ankle he had an operation on is still not allowing him to perform at 100 percent, and he's had to miss two games due to discomfort.

This time there is no injury, but the hard kicks he has received on his recently-operated ankle mean that it is necessary to be cautious.

Real Madrid don't want to see Hazard on the treatment table again, nor do they want the fear of a relapse to prevent the Belgian from shining.

Although LaLiga Santander is at stake, ultimately Hazard's health is more important.

There is a lot of hope for the former Chelsea star next season, when he should be able to play without any physical problems.

You only have to look at the statistics: he's a 20-goal player, although this season he has just one, which came against Monday's opponents.

Source: Marca / Juan Ignacio García-Ochoa - Geoff Gillingham

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