Eden Hazard left Chelsea for Real Madrid little more than two seasons ago, but now the Belgian winger could be on his way back to Stamford Bridge with reports suggesting Los Blancos want to sell him
The age old saying in football is to never go back. Things are often, never the same as they once were, and have moved on. Of course, sometimes a return to former employers can, and has, worked out, but often it doesn’t.
Hazard left Chelsea in 2019 in favour of a transfer to the Spanish giants worth £135million, but the move has been anything but a success.
And now, according to The Sun, Chelsea have reportedly held talks about Hazard’s potential homecoming, but Real Madrid are also said to want England right-back Reece James in return for the Belgian.
The report claims Hazard is keen on the move, while Chelsea are only willing to pay up to £35m.
El Nacional say Roman Abramovich is confident Hazard would become one of the best players in the world again, but whether that becomes the case is questionable.
When Hazard was last at Chelsea, everything centred around him. And rightfully so. After all, he was the best and most pivotal player in the team.
But times have changed, both at Stamford Bridge, and with Hazard himself. Should the Belgian return to Chelsea, then it could end up being a burden for Thomas Tuchel’s side.
At present, it is difficult to even see Hazard being one of the first names on the team sheet given the vast array of attacking talent available at Tuchel’s disposal.
Not to mention the Belgian’s injury record at Real Madrid, which has seen him miss no fewer than 46 of the 76 La Liga games during his first two seasons at the Bernabeu.
The former Chelsea man once again came off injured in Belgium’s 3-2 semi-final Nations League defeat against France, and his injuries are likely to be a recurring trend, should the Belgian move back to Stamford Bridge.
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Hazard’s Real Madrid career has seen him manage just five goals and nine assists in 51 games, while the forward has failed to score in any of the eight matches he has featured in this season.
The Belgian has himself even recently admitted that Vinicius Jr is now ahead of him in the pecking order at Real Madrid.
And at 30 years of age, Hazard certainly isn’t getting any younger, while his best years as a player look as if they are behind him now.
When asked about his future in June, Hazard insisted he wouldn’t leave Real Madrid as a failure.
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“I’m only myself when I can enjoy myself on the pitch. That hasn’t happened in the last two years at Madrid,” Hazard told Belgium’s Het Nieuwsblad. “If you have one or two injuries you can flip the switch, you recover to come back stronger, but if it’s five, six, seven it’s much more difficult mentally. But I keep going.”
“It didn’t occur to me for a second that it would be better for me to leave. I won’t leave there as a failure. I only want to show that I’m made for Real Madrid. The last two years have been difficult, I’ve been at Madrid without really being at Madrid, you know… We’ve played in a stadium without fans, and I signed to play at a full Bernabeu.”
Fans have grown frustrated with the winger at Real Madrid after failing to live up to expectations in Spain.
True it is that Hazard is viewed as a club legend at Chelsea, but that reputation could be tarnished somewhat with an unsuccessful return to west London.