The Belgian’s slow start in the Spanish capital is because of his physical conditioning, according to the former Arsenal boss
Arsene Wenger believes Eden Hazard is ‘too heavy’ and his weight issues are the main reason behind his struggle to get started at Real Madrid.
The Belgian attacker joined the Liga giants from Chelsea in a deal worth €100 million (£88m/$112m) as the star signing of Zinedine Zidane’s second stint at the club.
However, Hazard has had little impact on his new team, scoring one goal in 10 appearances to date, and was outshone by 18-year-old team-mate Rodrygo Goes’ hat-trick in Madrid’s 6-0 thrashing of Galatasaray on Wednesday.
Wenger thinks Hazard, who was taken off in the 68th minute of Wednesday’s match, isn’t overwhelmed by his new surroundings at the Bernabeu and is battling to perform because he put on too much weight in pre-season.
“He is not the type of guy to be [over-awed at Madrid] but I don’t know him well enough to assess that,” Wenger told bein SPORTS in his role as a pundit.
“I think it was more down to physical reasons. He became too heavy and what you read in the papers.
“If you want to make a horse lose a race, you put two kilos on a horse of 500kgs and it’s enough.”
Hazard scored 12-plus goals on five occasions in the Premier League, with his final season at Chelsea resulting in an incredible 16 strikes and 15 assists.
His form in the Premier League has deserted the 28-year-old in Spain so far and Wenger feels the player is lacking confidence stemming from his fitness issues.
“I feel we have not seen the Hazard we know in England yet,” Wenger said.
“He was not physically fit after he was injured. He is not a player who is usually overawed by anything.
“But he looks to me that he doesn’t have the same confidence he had at Chelsea.”
Hazard could have a chance to rediscover his form for Madrid if he is selected for the team’s clash away to Eibar on Saturday in La Liga.
The Belgium international will then head off to his national team on the international break for Euro 2020 qualifiers against Russia and Cyprus.
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