Real Madrid search for goals: Hazard matches Isco and Asensio
Without the potential 'galáctico' signings available, the Belgian is seen as a partial replacement for the goals that Cristiano scored, despite a potential overload of similar players. Cruz Azul vs America: Liga MX, live online
With Neymar and Mbappé out of reach, Real Madrid are maintaining their interest in Chelsea's Eden Hazard. The player who starred for World Cup third-placed Belgium this summer is stalling on signing a new contract in London and has already said that playing for Los Blancos would be a dream. A key part of the desire from the Spanish capital club is to help replace the goals that disappeared out the door with Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, something Hazard may be better placed to do than other attacking midfielders, Isco and Marco Asensio.
Hazard warning to Madrid midfielders
It is seen as almost impossible to fill the goal void of the Portuguese superstar. Last season Ronaldo added 44 to Madrid's tally and over his nine years at the club has averaged just over a goal per game. Hazard was involved in 30 goals last season for Chelsea, scoring 17 and assisting with a further 13. These figures are close to those of both Isco and Asensio...combined. Isco scored nine and assisted in ten, while Asensio's return was 11 and seven. If no new striker is brought in this summer by Florentino then as well as improved numbers from Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema, more will be expected from their supporting acts.
Players in numbers: Hazard, Isco and Asensio during 2017-18
|Passes per game||31.3||49.3||33.1|
|Balls won back per game||2.4||2.9||2.3|
|Lost possession per game||11.2||11.6||8.2|
|Shots per game||1.1||0.8||0.7|
As well as the statistics, the arrival of Hazard would see the return of a recent problem that Los Blancos have faced: an over-abundance of midfielders. James Rodríguez was victim to it, and with Lopetegui's open appreciation for what Isco brings to a team, the manager has also shown intentions to give creative youngster Dani Ceballos more pitch time. Aside from that, one of the great hopes for Spanish football, Asensio, would be seen by many as a huge loss watching from the sides.
With the new campaign fast approaching, decisions and actions need to happen soon to ensure that Lopetegui's side has a clear and effective plan to reduce, or more importantly for their fans, overhaul, the distance between them and Barcelona that was evident from last season's LaLiga table.
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