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Ex-Chelsea star names Hazard’s problem at Real Madrid

Eden Hazard, Real Madrid
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The Belgian has struggled to live up to expectations since his big-money transfer to Real Madrid in the summer of 2019.

Poor timing and physical problems are the main factors behind Eden Hazard’s lackluster spell at Real Madrid, says former Chelsea midfielder Gus Poyet.

The 53-year-old Uruguayan believes Hazard should have joined Real Madrid in the summer of 2018, which was when Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus, instead of arriving in the Spanish capital a year later from Chelsea.

Poyet also believes Hazard’s struggles to perform on the pitch are down to physical problems and not mental or due to the team’s style of play.

The winger, of course, is currently sidelined with the ninth injury of his short Los Blancos career and has only made 35 appearances for the club.

“It hurts me a lot in this case,” Poyet told Radio MARCA. “The year Cristiano Ronaldo left was the ideal time to replace him, he had had a great season with Chelsea.

“When Hazard arrived in Madrid, he suddenly looked older. I don’t think the style of play is the problem with this player, neither is the mentality; I would say that it’s physically.

“He has paid the price for some physical problems that have not allowed him to return and have meant he has not returned to his best conditions.

“One of my maxims as a coach is to put players on the pitch with minimal or no excuses, and I don’t think Hazard has ever been like that. There was always some excuse: he was at 60 percent, the team was not good….

“It’s not [Real Madrid manager Zinedine] Zidane’s fault, the player is depending on himself to face this great challenge of turning it around.”