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‘Hazard hasn’t failed, he will be massive for Real Madrid’ – Blancos will build around Belgian, says Martinez

16:04 BST 06/06/2020
Eden Hazard Eibar vs Real Madrid 2019-20
A coach who works with the former Chelsea star at international level believes a series of unfortunate injuries for the forward will soon be overcome

Eden Hazard has not failed at Real Madrid, says Roberto Martinez, with the Belgian expected to become a “massive player” for the Blancos as they build for the future around him.

The Liga giants invested £100 million ($127m) in luring the talented forward away from Chelsea in the summer of 2019.

Having seen him star in the Premier League, and on a Champions League stage, Madrid believed they had found another talismanic presence to help counter the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo.

Hazard has, however, endured an injury-ravaged debut campaign in Spain, with just 15 appearances taken in and one goal scored.

Much more was expected of the 29-year-old, but Martinez says it is far too early to be writing him off.

Madrid are considered to have been unfortunate when it comes to a series of niggling knocks that were never suffered in west London, with there every reason to believe that a fully-fit Hazard will become a key man for the club over the course of a long-term contract.

The Belgium national team coach told beIN Sports of a player that has started to generate exit talk: “I think Eden's situation has been very clear. He's missed over 20 games. In eight seasons at Chelsea, he missed 18 games, so there is a degree of [bad] luck. Eden hasn't been able to do his job.

“Has he failed? No, and now is not the moment [to judge him]. Whenever he finishes his time at Real Madrid, then he can look back and rate his performance and his role.

“If you ask me, I think Eden Hazard will be a massive, massive player for Real Madrid.

“I know Eden inside out. He is in the best moment of his career. I don't think Real Madrid will ever decide to move on. [Real Madrid] has probably the best player to start a new project. 

“The way Real Madrid have been playing this season, in the game he got injured against PSG, that's the best Real Madrid I've seen play for many, many years. The way they combined, the understanding with Eden Hazard and him with the other players, that team was coming. He is the best footballer to build a project around at Real Madrid.”

Hazard will get a welcome second chance to prove his worth when competitive football in Spain resumes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It appeared at one stage as though a broken ankle would bring his season to a close, but a delay in playing the 2019-20 campaign to a finish has allowed him to work his way back to fitness and into contention for a place in Zinedine Zidane’s plans.