Who: Eden Hazard
From Where: Chelsea
To Where: Real Madrid
For How Much: £88.5M (add-ons could take it to £130M)
Grade for Real Madrid: A
Grade for Chelsea: B
Eden Hazard to Real Madrid Overview
Real Madrid’s busy week continues with the signing of Eden Hazard, who is likely the highest-profile – and best – player who will be changing teams this summer.
As we’ll do for each major signing this summer, below is High Press Soccer’s breakdown of the transaction:
Who is he?
Hazard, 28, leaves Chelsea after scoring 110 goals and piling up 81 assists in seven seasons at Stamford Bridge.
The Belgian appears squarely in the middle of his prime: he scored 16 goals and had 15 assists in the EPL this year. Last year, he scored 12 goals. Dating back to ’13-14, he’s scored at least a dozen goals in the EPL in five of the last six years.
In addition to his consistency, another of Hazard’s strengths is his positional versatility. He’s proven that he’s capable of playing well just about anywhere in the midfield or up top. That will come in handy at a team as in flux as Los Blancos. Expect him to be as impactful as any transfer this summer.
Is the price fair?
RM is certainly paying an arm and a leg, but that’s to be expected for such a proven commodity.
It’s been reported that Real Madrid is paying at least £88.5M (€100 million/$112M USD) – a figure that could reach £130M based on add-ons (which are presumably incentive-based).
I don’t have anything too profound to say on the cost: this is simply what players with this kind of pedigree go for. If I’m a Madridista, I’m OK with this price because of how consistent Hazard has been for such a long time.
Teams who spend this kind of money on young players are making a massive gamble; the risk is much lower on a player who’s played this well for this long. The flip side of that is that at 28, Hazard is not exactly an up-and-comer. We should still, however, expect to see another four of five years of him as one of the best players in the world.
What impact should we expect?
As has been established at this point, Hazard is a mega-star who will provide a much-needed boost to his new team. The only question is fit. His versatility is more of a blessing than anything, but it does make you wonder where he should line up for Zinedine Zidane. Playing him up top alongside Karim Benzema, who prefers to play centrally, seems like the best move IMO, but time will tell.
Having two players who are as good at facilitating for their teammates as Hazard and Benzema should make RM extremely dangerous. The only potential issue is chemistry/fit, as both players like to have the ball.
Despite all that, it’s really hard to imagine this addition being anything other than a huge boost for a team that sorely lacked both playmaking and goal-scoring this past season.