By Jorge C. Picon – When Eden Hazard arrived at Real Madrid in the summer of 2019, nobody could have imagined that three years later he would have become a bit-part player in a Blancos squad working under the tutelage of Carlo Ancelotti.
The Belgium international was, however, left on the bench for a 4-0 humbling by Barcelona on Sunday and has now spent five successive games stuck on the sidelines – with his last outing coming against Alaves on February 19, when he saw just six minutes of action.
He has now failed to figure in all seven of the Clasico contests that have been played out during his time in Spain – due to injuries and questions of his form – and appears to have lost all faith from the coaching staff at Santiago Bernabeu.
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Why is Hazard not playing for Real Madrid?
GOAL has learned that Hazard is confused and frustrated by his omission from Ancelotti’s plans as he believes fitness struggles of the past are behind him.
Those close to the 31-year-old forward have said of his failure to take the field against Barcelona: “He really wanted to play the game. He's sad. He has never been as fit as he is today in his entire career.”
Hazard feels he is doing all he can to convince the Italian manager of his worth, but Ancelotti continues to favour Vinicius Junior on the left flank while Rodrygo and Marco Asensio compete for game time on the right of central frontman Karim Benzema.
With others becoming go-to options in attacking berths, Hazard and fellow outcast Gareth Bale are left kicking their heels in the shadows.
Will Hazard leave Real Madrid?
With a man acquired from Chelsea for €100 million (£83m/$110m) making little impression on the first-team fold at present, it is understood that Real’s intention remains to move Hazard on in the summer of 2022.
A loan deal may become the only feasible option for all parties, with Real still having to cover some salary costs there, as finding a buyer for a player whose value has plummeted while working on a lucrative contract will not be easy.
The Premier League is considered to represent the best market for Hazard, with his stock still high there following a memorable seven-year stint at Stamford Bridge.
A return to Chelsea was ready to be explored, due to obvious emotional ties, but sanctions imposed on Roman Abramovich and an ongoing takeover saga in west London have complicated matters considerably.
For his part, Hazard has not been rocking the boat in Madrid and will wait patiently for a solution to be found that brings a testing period in his career to a close.
He does not want to make a move for the sake of it, potentially doing even more harm to his career, but bosses behind the scenes at the Bernabeu will continue to monitor his situation closely ahead of another window of opportunity swinging open in June.