Real Madrid looking to loan Hazard out ahead of World Cup
Eden Hazard's season is over after the Real Madrid attacker underwent surgery and the Bernabéu board are now looking at loan options.
Eden Hazard’s 2021-22 season is over after the Real Madrid attacking midfielder was forced to go under the knife again to remove a titanium osteosynthesis plate in his right fibula, which was inserted to heal a fracture to the Belgium international’s shin bone. The hope is that once the plate has been removed, Hazard will be able to put his injury problems behind him and regain his form and fitness ahead of next season. He is expected to be out of action for four to six weeks, which effectively brings an end to the campaign for the 31-year-old given the additional recovery time.
Real Madrid looking for Hazard loan destination
Real Madrid have already started looking ahead to the 2022-23 season with a clear objective in terms of Hazard: to get him back to the sort of performance levels he exhibited at Chelsea and for which the Bernabéu shelled out €100m three years ago. The problem is the emergence of Vinicius on the left side of the attacking three, the Brazilian having made himself undroppable under Carlo Ancelotti this season, and the likely arrival of Kylian Mbappé in the summer. As things stand, and assuming the deal for Mbappé goes through as expected, it seems likely that Hazard will have to leave Madrid to rack up some minutes, at least temporarily.
Madrid are understandably not very optimistic of finding a permanent buyer for the 31-year-old in the next transfer window. Hazard has only managed 65 appearances for Madrid across three seasons with a return of six goals and this season has featured for just 877 minutes in all competitions, scoring once and providing two assists. The Belgium international’s contract runs until 2024 and Madrid’s hope is that a loan option for 2022-23 will arise to allow Hazard to regain fitness, form and confidence with a view to arranging a permanent deal.
The Bernabéu board are also looking to trim the wage bill this summer with the departure of Gareth Bale, the club’s highest-paid player, and will look to add Hazard’s €15m per season to the overall saving as they seek to make room for Mbappé. However, as was the case with the Wales international, there will be few clubs willing to take that sum of money on for a player with Hazard’s injury history. Bale eventually went to Spurs for a season, with Madrid waiving a loan fee and picking up half of his salary, and did well, scoring 16 goals. But that did not lead to any offers for the forward, who returned to the Bernabéu last summer.
World Cup comes at perfect time for Real Madrid
Working in Madrid’s favour is the upcoming World Cup. Hazard was omitted from Roberto Martínez’s latest Belgium squad and the coach hinted that the captain, as well as other including Romelu Lukaku, may need to address their club situations between now and November if they are to make the final squad.
That will likely lead Hazard, who could well be looking at his last World Cup appearance and the final charge of Belgium’s golden generation, to consider his options. If he remains in Madrid he will likely be largely confined to the bench, which could lead him to accept any offers that come his way. That will play into Madrid’s hand when negotiations are required and Hazard may be inclined to accept a move to a team of less stature to try and ensure he picks up the necessary minutes to persuade Martínez that he merits a place on the plane to Qatar.