Eden Hazard is set to reinvent himself as a false No. 9 at Real Madrid, as Carlo Ancelotti seeks to get the most out of the Belgian star while also managing Karim Benzema’s workload. Hazard’s time at Real Madrid has been nothing short of disastrous since joining from Chelsea in 2019. Many fans have questioned whether he should still be at the club.
Los Blancos have signed the 31-year-old for £130 million in 2019. He has been plagued by injury and fitness issues and has been a shadow of the Premier League superstar that Real Madrid thought they have signed.
According to The Sun, Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti is looking to resurrect Hazard’s career by using him as the team’s center-forward in a false No 9 role when Karim Benzema is rested.
Ancelotti is said to be well aware that Benzema, the team’s star player, is approaching his 35th birthday and will need his workload managed, especially with a mid-season World Cup in Qatar on the horizon. As a result, he will require rotation, and Ancelotti expects Hazard to pick up the slack and rejuvenate himself in the Spanish capital.
Hazard’s decline has been dramatic. In his three years at the club, the Belgian has only appeared 66 times and scored six goals. Hazard has missed a whopping 57 games, primarily due to muscle injuries. Hazard has two LaLiga titles and a Champions League winner’s medal to his name despite his absence.
However, according to The Sun, Hazard will return this season potentially fitter than he has been in a long time, with a metal plate inserted to repair his fibula now removed and no other injury concerns.
Where will Eden Hazard play in an already stacked Real Madrid lineup?
Hazard would struggle to fit into the side in any other position, so Ancelotti’s hand may be forced. Vinicius Junior has made the left attacking side his own after a stellar season in which he scored 22 goals and assisted 20 times in 52 appearances across all competitions. Likewise, Rodrygo is claiming the right flank, and Benzema is the first name on the teamsheet.
Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, and Casemiro dominate the midfield, with rising star Edouardo Camavinga lurking in the wings. Hazard is also no stranger to the false No. 9 role, having played it frequently for Chelsea during his peak years.