Real Madrid announced the signing of 28-year-old Belgian forward Eden Hazard from Chelsea on Friday. The club secured the services of Hazard for a reported fee of around €100 million and he has signed a five-year deal with Los Blancos. The Belgian became Los Blancos' first galactico signing since James Rodriguez, who arrived in 2014.
After arriving from Lille in 2012, Hazard showed his calibre during his tenure in Premier League. Hazard is regarded as one of the most complete attackers in the world as he can terrorize opponents' defences and tear them apart at will.
The Belgian is the ninth leading goalscorer of Chelsea with 110 goals-85 of the goals coming in the Premier League. Hazard has also racked up 54 assists for the Blues in the Premier League and has created more chances than any other player in the league since making his debut for Chelsea.
The 28-year-old has won a brace of Premier League and Europa Leagues titles among other notable accolades during his tenure with The Blues. In the recently concluded campaign, Hazard bagged 21 goals and 17 assists in all competitions, helping his club win the Europa League.
On the other hand, Real Madrid suffered one of their worst seasons in the recent times since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. They were in dire need of a world class forward and Hazard fits the bill perfectly.
With all of that in mind, let us a look at the major winners and losers from Hazard's latest move:
#4 Winner: Karim Benzema
Despite Los Blancos' struggles in the 2018/19 campaign, Benzema was the standout player for them. The French striker ended last season as La Liga's second-highest top scorer with 21 goals, along with Barcelona's Luis Suarez. In all competitions, he scored 30 goals and provided 11 assists but he had little support for major portion in the campaign.
There is no doubt that the 31-year-old was the only forward who stepped up In the absence of Ronaldo. The likes of Gareth Bale, Marco Asensio and Mariano were far from their best throughout the campaign. Barring the occasional brilliance of Vinicius Jr, Benzema was often left alone during their attacks.
With the inclusion of someone like Hazard, Benzema will surely get more chances in front of goal. They might enjoy a solid chemistry in the final third just like Benzema had with Vinicius and more importantly like the Frenchman and his former teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
#3 Loser: Maurizio Sarri/Potential replacement
It is crystal clear that Maurizio Sarri or the next manager of Chelsea are the biggest losers following Eden Hazard's move to Real Madrid. Although the Blues got a whooping €100 million plus add ons for their talisman, they lost their biggest asset in recent years.
Maurizio Sarri's first season of the club was a success, and that was mainly down to Hazard. The Belgian has been directly involved in 31 goals (16 goals, 15 assists) in the 2018/19 Premier League campaign.
Under Sarri's guidance, the Blues managed to score 63 goals throughout the recently concluded campaign and the Belgian forward was involved in almost half of the total number of goals scored.
It goes without saying that money can't replace someone like Hazard. Furthermore, the Blues were handed a two-window transfer ban, which adds to the misery of the coach in the upcoming season. If the ban remains after their recent appeal to CAS, the Blues will have a major problem upfront in the upcoming season. Even more so considering their ageing forwards.
Hazard's numbers at Chelsea are well documented and he will leave as a legend of the Blues. However, Chelsea's loss is Los Blancos' gain.
#2 Winner: Zinedine Zidane
When Zinedine Zidane returned to take charge of Los Blancos for a second time, the team needed huge reinforcements.
Real Madrid were clearly struggling in front of goal and they were humiliated in all competitions by the likes of Barcelona, Ajax and even by most clubs in La Liga. Even after Zidane returned, he couldn't prevent further downfall and Madrid ended their league campaign with 12 losses.
There was no doubt that the Spanish giants needed major reinforcements and Zidane made his intentions clear to revamp the squad immediately. Zidane was promised signings when he returned at the Santiago Bernabeu and the arrival of a Galactico like Hazard fulfills that promise.
It goes without saying that Zidane's predecessors - Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari - had fewer options and ammunition at their disposal. The arrival of Hazard will be a major boost for Hazard as the former Chelsea talisman is enjoying the peak of his career. Moreover, Zidane has openly spoken of his admiration for the Belgian skipper.
#1 Loser: Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale was expected to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo last summer. The Welshman had enjoyed trophy-laden campaigns at the Santiago Bernabeu but suffered due to numerous injuries. After his thunderous bicycle kick goal against Liverpool in the Champions League final, Los Blancos hierarchy expected him to step up and lead Madrid's attack.
However, Bale failed to make any impact and struggled to find his form throughout the campaign. Injury played it's part again and Bale ended a woeful campaign with just 14 goals and 6 assists in all competitions. Due to his inconsistent performances, Bale is way down the pecking order in Zinedine Zidane's side.
There are reports suggesting Bale is not a part of Zidane's plan in the upcoming season. Even if he stays, it is clear as day that the Welshman has lost his place in the starting line-up. With the arrival of a world class winger like Hazard, Bale's place in the squad is in further jeopardy.