The story of Eden Hazard at Real Madrid is a fraught one. Constantly hampered by injuries, struggling to make an impact in the minutes he does have and on the whole, he has been usurped by Vinicius Junior in his preferred position.
Carlo Ancelotti has opened a door for him though. Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s match with Cadiz, Ancelotti was asked about the Belgian’s future and confirmed that he would be staying at Real Madrid next season.
“His plan is quite clear: he is staying and he is doing so with a lot of motivation because he has had a tough time in these last years. He wants to show his quality.”
“Hazard’s plans are quite clear. He is staying next year.”
🚨 Hazard se queda en el Madrid: Ancelotti explica los planes del belga pic.twitter.com/9sKBNkiDdz
— MARCA (@marca) May 14, 2022
Marca carried his quotes from the press conference, which then involved a follow-up. Ancelotti was asked if Hazard would have minutes next season, given he has struggled for them this season even when fit.
“I think so. There are a lot of games, there is tiredness, there will be rotations even if this season there haven’t been as many. Everyone can have their chances.”
“A starting place at a big club is difficult for everyone, not just the players who play less. I continue to be of the opinion that the quantity of minutes is not as important as the quality. This year we have the clear example of Rodrygo, who hasn’t played many minutes but has played quality minutes and has made the difference.”
The chief problem is perhaps his position. With Vinicius Junior settled in the left wing role, Hazard would likely have to shift in order to win a place in the starting eleven. Within Ancelotti’s preferred 4-3-3, a central midfield role seems like a lot of defensive responsibility, while Hazard has looked uncomfortable when playing on the right side of a front three too.