Real Madrid Winger Sidelined For The Remainder Of This Season: Can Zidane Cope Without Him?

Eden Hazard of Real Madrid runs with the ball during the UEFA Champions League group A match between Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain at Bernabeu on November 26, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

In a recent interview (via Sport), Belgium manager Roberto Martinez confirmed that Eden Hazard could be sidelined for the remainder of this campaign when he said (translated by ESPN),

“We are very sad, because this injury will leave him out of action for at least three months.

“A footballer like Eden should always be on the pitch. We have an excellent communication with Real Madrid’s medical staff and we are anxious about Eden.

“It’s a shame, because it has also happened before an important game as that of Manchester City.”

The Galacticos have confirmed on their official website that the Belgian wide player has suffered a fracture to his right distal fibula. Now that Hazard is out of action until at least May, Zinedine Zidane will have a real challenge on his hands to cope with his star player’s injury absence.

Hazard’s Injury-Ravaged Spell At Madrid So Far

Hazard had been plagued with injuries since make a high-profile switch to the Spanish capital last summer. He has scored one goal and provided five assists in 15 appearances for Los Blancos this season in all competitions. Frequent injuries have hampered his progress at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, but it has also prepared Madrid to cope with life without him.

The ex-Chelsea ace has also earned 106 international caps for the Belgian national side, netting 32 goals for his nation in the process. Therefore, Hazard’s latest set-back will also be a considerable concern for Martinez heading into the UEFA Euro 2020 which is set to kick off later this summer.

Real Madrid’s Welsh forward Gareth Bale (L), Real Madrid’s Belgian goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois (C) and Real Madrid’s Belgian forward Eden Hazard attend a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League Group A football match between Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid CF at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on September 17, 2019. (Photo by GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT / AFP)

Why Hazard’s Injury Will Be A Massive Blow For The Galacticos

When playing with confidence on the field, Hazard can be a joy to watch as he is one of the most productive dribblers with the ball out on the wide areas. The Belgian has proved time and time again during his time at Chelsea that he can be the man for the big occasions by scoring crucial goals for his team. Hence, losing him for the rest of this season will be a devasting blow for Zidane as he prepares his players to face off against Manchester City in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League last 16.

Can Zidane Cope With The Belgian’s Loss?

The Madrid boss will have a real headache on his hands as far as team selection is concerned. He could choose to play Rodrygo in Hazard’s position on the left flank. However, the Brazilian winger will be suspended for the upcoming showdown versus Barcelona which means that Gareth Bale could get another shot to rediscover his old form in Zidane’s first-team.

Otherwise, the French head coach could choose to play a front three of Isco, Karim Benzema and Vinicius Junior over the next few weeks so that he can figure out a winning formula in Hazard’s absence.

A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.