Former Arsenal defender Kieran Gibbs has expressed his disappointment at Eden Hazard's decline at Real Madrid.
Hazard, 32, is set to leave Los Blancos this summer, the club have confirmed, after reaching an agreement to rescind his contract. Despite still having 13 months left on his deal, he has been released due to his erratic injury problems.
Speaking on ESPN, Gibbs shared his thoughts on Hazard's career, heaping praise on him in the process. He said:
"There's one player, as players in the club, we never used to speak about if we were coming up against a team. We never used to, out of pride and ego, speak about another player. But Hazard was one everyone would speak about. That season he won the league, it was a virtuoso season, he single-handedly took Chelsea to the title."
Likening Manchester City star Jack Grealish's lifestyle to the Belgian's, the former Arsenal left-back continued:
"Jack Grealish came out and said that he's not one of the most professional guys at times and he likes to go out and have a drink. But he has performed this season. I don't know if you can put [Hazard's decline] down to that."
Lauding Hazard's qualities prior to his permanent move to Real Madrid worth £120 million in 2019, Gibbs added:
"To be honest, I just miss him. He was just so good to watch. I think fans, of the Hazard that we know, just want to see him perform as he's an entertainer. That's the hardest thing to swallow with this move to Real Madrid."
Hazard, who saw Carlo Ancelotti's side lift eight trophies during his stint, proved to be an underwhelming signing for the La Liga giants. He scored just seven goals and laid out 12 assists in 76 games across competitions for them.
Of late, the former Chelsea and Lille man has attracted interest from CF Montreal and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Arsenal linked with cut-price deal for Real Madrid outcast: Reports
According to the Mirror, Arsenal are on high alert as Ferland Mendy has been told that he could leave Real Madrid this summer. The Gunners are keen to rope in the Frenchman to provide solid competition to Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Real Madrid have informed Mendy's representatives that they are unwilling to offer a new deal to their client. The Le Havre youth product is aiming to secure a three-year contract at his new club with his current deal expiring in 2025.
Arsenal, who finished runners-up in the Premier League, are interested in meeting Mendy's £17.5 million price tag.
Mendy, 27, has failed to live up to expectations since joining Carlo Ancelotti's outfit from Lyon for around £42 million in the summer of 2019. So far, he has lifted a total of eight trophies with them, featuring in 133 overall appearances.