Carlo Ancelotti has a plan with Eden Hazard. Against Club America, the Belgian played as a No.9 again and seems to be confirmed as the coach’s big bet to be backup for Karim Benzema at Real Madrid.
Ancelotti recently confirmed that there would be no more signings, an announcement that closes the door on the arrival of a striker despite the departure of Luka Jovic and that the fact that Mariano Diaz and Borja Mayoral are not in the coach’s plans.
Now that it seems a natural replacement for Benzema will not arrive, the coach has set about finding a plan for when he cannot count on the Frenchman.
The plan, at least for the start of the season, is Hazard. Ancelotti wants to find a place for the Belgian to give a boost to the good feelings he has had since the end of last season, when he finally left his ankle problems behind him.
“We need to give Hazard minutes, because he is a great player and we need him. He has improved compared to the first game,” Ancelotti said after the match against Club America.
The Belgian has the quality to play in that position. Because beyond the goals, what Ancelotti wants is a player who is as close as possible to everything the Frenchman brings; mobility, appearance between the lines and vision, which are so important for the team’s offensive production.
Last year Ancelotti tried everything when he couldn’t count on Benzema and nothing convinced him.
On 11 occasions he was unable to start him and experimented with five different formulas: Mariano (Elche, Alcoyano, Espanyol and Cadiz), Jovic (Inter, Elche and Atletico Madrid), Marco Asensio (Athletic Club and Villarreal), Isco (Granada) and Luka Modric (Barcelona).
In addition, it frees Hazard from the wing, a position of real physical demand, as can be seen with the work done by Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Asensio and Fede Valverde.
The Belgian has recovered his happiness, but he has spent three years in which he has competed very little and that takes its toll.
Furthermore, Ancelotti has enough resources on the wings. The no.9 position is the one that worries him and that’s where the Belgian comes into play. There is a plan with Hazard.