Zinedine Zidane believes Eden Hazard can become 20-goal-a-season star for Real Madrid… his Chelsea masterclass against West Ham means Spanish giants are even more desperate to sign him before the end of the campaign
- Eden Hazard put on a masterclass for Chelsea against West Ham on Monday
- It brings his Premier League goals tally to 85 – one more than Cristiano Ronaldo
- While it is recognised he is not a goal machine, Madrid think he can do 20 a year
- Zinedine Zidane wants Harry Kane or Sadio Mane, but both are difficult to get
As Madrid media drooled over Eden Hazard’s first goal at Stamford Bridge on Monday night it was not lost on them that with his double against West Ham he now has 85 Premier League goals – one more than Cristiano Ronaldo managed in England.
Hazard is more likely to inherit the No 10 shirt from Luka Modric than Ronaldo’s old No 7 shirt if he signs for Real Madrid this summer but the hope in the Spanish capital is that just as occurred with Ronaldo – his goal tally will rocket once he leaves the Premier League for La Liga.
Ronaldo scored his 84 goals in 196 games. Hazard has taken 240 to net his 85th and it is recognised that he will never be the goal machine Ronaldo became in Spain.
Eden Hazard put on a two-goal masterclass for Chelsea against West Ham on Monday night
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane will have watched on closely during Hazard’s display
Los Blancos have been lacklustre on the pitch and need Hazard deal done before end of season
But Zinedine Zidane does feel that the 28-year-old Belgian can become a 20-goal-a-season player not just someone who plays the final pass so that a team-mate can score.
Real Madrid have been linked with a host of centre-forwards but with top choice Harry Kane out of their reach and Zidane favourite Saido Mane also extremely difficult to get out of Liverpool, the club could avoid signing an out-an-out centre-forward on the understanding that Hazard will help fill the goals deficit created this season by Ronaldo’s departure.
If they don’t buy a striker it would mean Karim Benzema continues as the club’s first choice front man. The Frenchman is enjoying his best season at the club since he joined in 2009. In what has been a difficult year he has scored 26 goals in all competitions just six from his all-time best since he joined.
Zidane would like Harry Kane (L) or Sadio Mane (R), but acquiring either appears very difficult
Hazard just surpassed Cristiano Ronaldo’s Premier League goal tally of 85 – but in more games
EDEN’S BEEN ELECTRIC
All competitions this season
Raul de Tomas, who is currently out on loan at Rayo Vallecano would come back and play occasionally instead of and occasionally alongside Beznema. No Spaniard has scored more in La Liga this season than the 24-year-old and his 13 league goals are giving Madrid minnows Rayo Vallecano a puncher’s chance of staying up.
And Hazard’s projected goal contribution would be the insurance behind the risky scheme of not signing a big name striker. If Modric leaves in the summer – and he has still not signed the new deal that was heralded at the end of last year – then Hazard will take the No 10 shirt.
On the pitch he will be played on the left of the attacking trio with teenage sensation Vinicius stepping down to become his No 2. The Brazilian has had an inspired first season at Madrid but Zidane feels he has played more than he might otherwise have done because of the crisis and that the pressure should be taken off the 19-year-old going into the new campaign.
The prevailing idea in Spain, however, is that Hazard can bag 20 goals a season for Los Blancos
Should Luka Modric leave the Bernabeu this summer, Hazard will likely take his No 10 shirt
Should Hazard sign it would see Vinicius Junior, who has been impressive, become his No 2
Vinicius will fly to Brazil this week to model the new Brazil kit. His prominent role in the Nike promotion points to him being included in Tite’s squad for the 2019 Copa America, providing he can prove his fitness following the ankle injury that sidelined him thee weeks ago.
If Vinicius plays in the tournament that gives Zidane further justification for not staring him at the beginning of the new campaign.
With the Santiago Bernabeu now half empty for league games and fans turning on supporters Real Madrid are desperate to get their Hazard deal over the line before the end of the season.
But the club are still a long way from agreeing a price with Chelsea because of several variables that are likely to change the price.
FIFA are due to hear Chelsea’s appeal against their ban on registering new players, on April 11 and if, as expect, the game’s global governing body uphold the ban, Chelsea will then appeal to the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS). That could see their ban suspended while CAS make their decision.
Madrid’s Gareth Bale could also be used as a makeweight to sweeten the deal for Chelsea
If Chelsea can register new players Madrid will offer James Rodriguez or Gareth Bale as part of the Hazard deal.
Bale’s wages are likely to make his inclusion in the transfer difficult but Rodriguez – who is set to return from his two-year loan spell at Bayern Munich – could be more workable.
Barcelona misfit Philippe Coutinho would also become a possibility if the CAS appeal enables Chelsea to sign new stars. Chelsea’s final position in the Premier League could also change things.
If they are in the Champions League their capacity to pay higher wages means they could look at different options to replace Hazard.
Should Chelsea escape their transfer ban, Philippe Coutinho might make a good fit there