The former Arsenal manager watched the Belgian many times while he was at Chelsea, and he thinks he has a big part to play in Madrid’s season
Real Madrid still haven’t seen the real Eden Hazard, according to Arsene Wenger – but even when they do, he still won’t replace Cristiano Ronaldo.
Hazard registered his first La Liga goal and assist in Madrid’s last game before the international break, a 4-2 win over Granada which kept Zinedine Zidane’s side top of the Spanish table.
Despite their lofty position, Madrid have already faltered this campaign and are yet to discover their best form.
“He will be the answer but not in replacing Ronaldo, that is for sure,” Wenger told beIN Sports when asked about Hazard. “He will not score 50 goals a year because that’s now how they play football.
“They need another goalscorer at Real Madrid because [Karim] Benzema is now 32 and if they had someone younger around him to score the goals, maybe they could do very well.
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“Eden Hazard is an exceptional player to create chances to sometimes finish when he needs to in the big games.
“He’s not scared of anybody – I don’t think Real have yet to see the real Hazard, he’s not as sharp physically as he can be. That’s why I believe they will discover the real Hazard.”
Hazard’s pre-season preparations were disrupted by a hamstring injury, but he is now working his way back to full match sharpness and will be expecting to kick on after his first goal in Madrid white.
The 28-year-old has now made six appearances since his summer move from Chelsea, after making his debut in September’s 3-2 win over Levante.
He has only played 90 minutes twice so far, but did start in Belgium’s 9-0 thrashing of San Marino on Thursday night which confirmed their qualification for Euro 2020.
Wenger’s comments about the lack of an understudy to Benzema may well sting 21-year-old forward Luka Jovic, who is yet to come to life after his own summer move from Eintracht Frankfurt.
The Serbian hitman plundered 17 goals in the Bundesliga last season and 27 in all competitions, but is yet to get off the mark for Madrid after struggling for playing time. While he has made seven appearances in the league and in Europe, only two of these have seen him on the pitch for more than 25 minutes.
After the international break, Madrid travel to Mallorca in La Liga and Galatasaray in the Champions League, before returning to the Santiago Bernabeu for the first Clasico of the season against Barcelona on October 26.