Eden Hazard has been linked to Real Madrid for quite some time now. The Belgian winger has consistently terrified Premier League defences since his arrival to North London, and Real Madrid have looked to the Belgian to replace their star man, Cristiano Ronaldo, who left for Juventus last summer.
Furthermore, even Hazard himself has stated his desire to Real Madrid in many of his previous interviews. On top of that, even his ex-manager Jose Mourinho has tipped him to succeed at Real Madrid.
However the question remains, can he replicate the void left by the Portuguese star?
Contrasting styles of play
While Hazard is one of the best players in Europe right now, he is a much different player to Ronaldo. Hazard is a player who likes to receive the ball in deep areas and drive forward to score or create, out of which he prefers doing the latter.
Currently, he is regarded as one of the best dribblers in Europe alongside Lionel Messi and Neymar. He is known for his ability to create goal-scoring opportunities for his teammates out of nothing.
However, Ronaldo is a completely different player. Although he started out as an out-and-out right winger early in his career, he became a goal-scoring machine upon his arrival to Real Madrid.
He has eventually transformed into an unstoppable threat from close range, long range and aerial balls, rather than predominantly whipping in crosses from wide areas, as he did early in his career.
Moreover, Real Madrid do have the likes of Vinicius Jr. and Asensio in their ranks who have the same player profile as Hazard, even though their quality is not at all close to the Belgian's. On top of that, signing Hazard could be a very costly deal.
Lastly, Vinicius Jr. has shown a lot of promise this season, and benching him for Hazard would be a bit unfair on him right now.
It would be almost impossible to replicate the finishing ability and impact of the current Juventus man. That said, instead of looking at a playmaking forward, Real Madrid should look to sign a modern goal-scoring forward (like Harry Kane, Kylian Mbappe, Neymar Jr.), who can guarantee at least 25 goals every season, and also chip in with a few assists if needed.Published 28 Feb 2019, 00:42 IST