Real Madrid attacker Eden Hazard has been sent down the pecking order in recent weeks. Not only is he finding it difficult to avoid muscular issues when playing consecutive matches, but he is also no longer a positional fit for Los Blancos.
Previously a world-class left winger, Hazard’s changing skill-set due to injuries has forced him into an attacking midfield or “free role”. But the Real Madrid structure cannot fit these roles for Hazard, as the defense suffers too much.
So Hazard is on the periphery, and Los Blancos seem willing to let him walk this winter. Suitors will be difficult to find, however, because Hazard is such a serious injury risk and is on high wages. Newcastle comes to mind as the only team that would be willing to spend a transfer fee on him.
A loan deal could make sense for an ambitious team, though. Hazard, at his best, is going to be much better than any of the other players available this winter. And if he can’t get to his best, then acquiring him on loan for six months isn’t much of a risk.
Real Madrid could get Hakim Ziyech in return
Chelsea have been linked to an Hazard reunion in many transfer rumors, with most of them being dubious. But they are reportedly interested in a loan, which might actually make sense for the Blues.
Meanwhile, what may make Real Madrid hesitant about a loan is that shedding Hazard’s wages for half of a season does not actually help them get an incoming player in a significant manner. A drawback is that they will have one empty spot in the squad. Though Hazard is not doing much, he is still useful to have around.
Chelsea have their own talented attacking player whom they have soured on. Hakim Ziyech arrived at Chelsea in 2020 with a lot of fanfare, having been a superstar in the Champions League for Ajax. Ziyech does not fit the Premier League or Thomas Tuchel’s style of football well. Although the Chelsea manager says there is nothing to the rumors, it doesn’t seem like anyone is buying what he is saying.
Perhaps the Blues are hesitant to loan Ziyech or sell him, because they would not be able to find a replacement in the winter. Ziyech has played just 210 Premier League minutes this season and has contributed very little, but he is still a talented playmaker. It’s not like Chelsea have a lot of great options on the wings. Callum Hudson-Odoi has been their only truly productive wide player in the attack.
Eden Hazard and Hakim Ziyech could benefit from a change in scenery
Acquiring Hazard could make Chelsea more willing to part ways with Ziyech on a loan. And then from Real Madrid’s perspective, they could swap a right-footed playmaker for a left-footed one. There’s no guarantee Ziyech will be any better than Hazard, but he could be a good fit for La Liga. We know his quality. Furthermore, Real’s only left-footers are Gareth Bale and Marco Asensio. Bale cannot be relied upon due to injuries, while Asensio cannot start on the wing.
Swapping Ziyech and Hazard would give both elite clubs the opportunity to have the same number of wingers, but to acquire players of differing skill-sets who may fit their new situations better. There would be no obligation to buy, and the loan would only last six months. If one party likes what they see, they could make an offer. And the selling club would have time to find a replacement that summer; both teams will be active in the next transfer window.
Want your voice heard? Join theThe Real Champs team!
Write for us!
Swap deals are rare, but when they do happen, they happen between clubs of a similar caliber for players in similar situations. Hazard and Ziyech are both quality, experienced playmakers stuck in unideal situations. We’ll see if Real Madrid would even have any sort of interest in Ziyech, but it may be better to try this out for six months than to stick Hazard on the bench. That’s not helping Madrid either, and it is most definitely not good for Hazard.