Eden Hazard underestimated Real Madrid says Degryse but Belgian thinks 'Newcastle is ideal'

  • Tom Ward
Eden Hazard has proven to be a Real Madrid flop since moving from Chelsea in 2019

Eden Hazard ‘seriously underestimated’ Real Madrid but only has himself to blame after he famously turned up to pre-season training ‘7 kilos overweight’, Belgium legend Marc Degryse has claimed.

The ex-Chelsea ace is now without a goal in 10 La Liga games this season after he drew a blank in the 2-1 win against Rayo Vallecano last Saturday.  

Hazard, 30, has continued to disappoint since completing his big-money move from Stamford Bridge to The Bernabeu in 2019. 

Madrid fans believed they’d signed the next Cristiano Ronaldo when the Spanish champions agreed a fee in the region of £88.5m plus add-ons for Hazard over two years ago. 

But the Belgian winger has instead earned unsavoury comparisons to Antonio Cassano, as he has failed to replicate his Blues form for the Los Blancos, with Karim Benzema forced to carry most if not all of the heavy lifting.   

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Hazard’s time in Madrid has been blighted by injuries, but he didn’t exactly give fans a good impression on his first day on the job. 

The winger reportedly turned up to training at the beginning of last season overweight, leaving Real fans unimpressed. 

Things soon went from bad to worse as he failed to find the back of the net on a regular basis, leading some to wonder why they had even bothered signing him in the first place. 

Eden Hazard signed for Real Madrid from Chelsea in 2019

When asked for his thoughts on Hazard’s stop-start debut season, the ex-Anderlecht and Club Brugge striker told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws (h/t Mundo Deportivo): “Incomprehensible. I still don’t understand it today. That he came to the first training with 7 kilos overweight.

“It doesn’t matter if they were 5. How do you do that? Gain 5 kilos in three weeks!

“It’s hard to understand that you start preparing like this.”

Eden Hazard has failed to replicate his Chelsea form at Real Madrid

Unlike Joe Cole, who criticised Madrid fans for being ‘notoriously impatient‘ with those who struggle to immediately hit the ground running, Desgryse went on to suggest that Hazard is the one at fault for failing to ‘get rid of those extra kilos’. 

He added: “Then he started training at the same pace as the other players, but that is not possible.

“First you have to get rid of those extra kilos. As a result, he immediately suffered a muscle injury. And then he rejoined without having laid the foundations of a good season. 

“He seriously underestimated Real Madrid.”

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However, Desgryse has backed the 30-year-old to rediscover his former glory – but only if he pushes for a move in January. 

“Hazard has to go to a team in January where they count on him, where they make him important,” he explained. 

“Newcastle is ideal. All the balls will go to him. If he can keep Newcastle in the Premier League, it could give a new boost to his career.”

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