Eden Hazard

Eden Hazard is desperate to get back to top form for Real Madrid and Belgium, insists Roberto Martinez.

The attacking midfielder became one of the most expensive footballers in history when Real Madrid purchased him in 2019, with Los Blancos potentially paying as much as €146.1 million for his services.

He has struggled to find the form that saw him become a Premier League star with Chelsea, however, as injury, fitness and overall form has left him on the periphery of the first team under Carlo Ancelotti.

Even with the huge outlay in 2019, Real Madrid would reportedly be willing to let Hazard leave if a decent offer came in, with newly rich Newcastle United the latest team to be linked with the Belgian.

Martinez believes Hazard has what it takes to bounce back, though, and does not think the player has lost his love for the game just yet.

“It is an unusual situation, we did not expect it,” the Belgium head coach told HLN.

“Medically speaking, he is fine and we know that he is doing extra work to be in shape.

“He wants to do everything possible to reach his maximum level again.

“We won’t get worried until Eden stops enjoying football, but for now, that is not the case.

“I think he can finish the season strong.”

Is Hazard free to leave Real Madrid?

Hazard’s absences in the past for Real Madrid could be explained by his injuries, but now that he is fit and not playing, his future has been called into question.

He has started just five matches in all competitions in 2021/22.

New Madrid boss Ancelotti previously commented on Hazard’s future, saying he would not stand in the way of a player eager to leave.

“Never in my career as a coach have I forced a player to stay when they want to leave,” he said.

“In my own personal opinion I don’t have any doubts about that.”

Hazard’s decline has coincided with the emergence of Vinicius Junior, who is now first-choice in the Belgian’s position on the left of the forward three.

Vinicius has been in superb form this season, with nine goals and five assists in 13 starts in all competitions.

Any summer purchase of Kylian Mbappe or Erling Haaland would only push Hazard further away from the starting XI at Santiago Bernabeu.

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