Arsene Wenger has attributed Eden Hazard’s sluggish start to life at Real Madrid to problems with his weight.
The diminutive Belgian joined Los Blancos from Chelsea for £88m during the summer window, but is yet to showcase the kind of form he consistently displayed at Stamford Bridge.
Why is Hazard struggling at Real? Five things to know…
- Hazard joined Real Madrid for £88m from Chelsea in the summer.
- He missed the start of the campaign after picking up a hamstring injury during pre-season.
- Since relocating to Real, Hazard has found the back of the net just once in 10 matches.
- He drew criticism during pre-season for a perceived weight gain on his part.
- And Wenger has now echoed those views, believing Hazard is not in the optimal physical condition.
Hazard was the centrepiece signing of Zinedine Zidane’s galactico-style overhaul across the summer, but he has thus far netted just once in 10 outings.
His latest damp squib came during Real’s 6-0 humbling over Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday, with 18-year-old midfield counterpart Rodrygo stealing the headlines.
The Brazilian starlet netted a sumptuous hat-trick as Hazard once again fired a blank, and Wenger believes he knows the root of the forward’s teething problems.
“He is not the type of guy to be [over-awed at Madrid] but I don’t know him well enough to assess that,” Wenger told bein SPORTS.
“I think it was more down to physical reasons. He became too heavy and what you read in the papers.
“If you want to make a horse lose a race, you put two kilos on a horse of 500kgs and it’s enough.”
Zidane on Rodrygo’s hat-trick for Real Madrid
Wenger: Hazard lacking confidence
During his final season in west London, Hazard was directly involved in a quite sensational 38 goals as the Blues clinched a Europa League title.
However, he is yet to rediscover that form in the Spanish capital, with Wenger believing the 28-year-old is simply lacking in confidence at the minute.
Subscribe to Squawka’s Youtube channel here.
He added: “I feel we have not seen the Hazard we know in England yet.
“He was not physically fit after he was injured. He is not a player who is usually impressed by anything.
“But he looks to me that he doesn’t have the same confidence he had at Chelsea.”