Eden Hazard has been handed a place in the Real Madrid squad that will face Real Valladolid on Wednesday, as the under-fire Belgian looks to make a fresh start following his woeful debut campaign at the Bernabeu.
Hazard has been criticised for making little impact following his £150million move from Chelsea last year, with reports claiming he showed up for pre-season training out of shape.
Ahead of his return, the Spanish press are dubbing his inclusion in Real’s matchday squad as his ‘second try’ after Hazard spent most of last season sidelined with an ankle injury, where he only managed to contribute just one goal.
Eden Hazard’s inclusion in Real Madrid’s squad is being dubbed as his ‘second try’ in Spain
The Belgian forward has been criticised for making little impact since making his £150m move
Marca are reporting that Zinedine Zidane will be looking to take the pressure off of Hazard and will aim to slowly integrate him back in until he’s reached full fitness.
Zidane was forced to defend Hazard’s professionalism on Tuesday with members of the Spanish press questioning why he called up for international duty in the UEFA Nations League, only for the player to not play a single minute of the two matches against Denmark and Iceland.
Reports in Spain suggested that the club felt Hazard should have not reported for international duty and should have stayed with Real to work on his fitness.
His decision to join up with the national team meant he missed 10 days of pre-season training, leading to further criticism of the 29-year-old.
Zinedine Zidane defended Hazard’s professionalism with reports claiming he was out of shape
Real Madrid posted this image of Eden Hazard after claims he had returned overweight
The club then made the interesting move of posting an image of Hazard working out with a large barbell at their Ciudad training quarters, without any apparent context.
Real were said to be growing increasingly frustrated with the forward but Zidane defended his player, despite him not being fit to feature in the opening two games of the season, and revealed he is close to making a comeback.
‘Hazard is very close. He’s training with the squad, he does well,’ Zidane told reporters on Tuesday.
‘Hazard didn’t lack professionalism. He’s had a big issue. The ankle has bothered him for a long time. He’s the first who wants to be okay.’
Hazard is unlikely to start against Valladolid but could be used as an impact sub at the Estadio Alfredo di Stefano on Wednesday evening.
Source: Read Full Article