Eden Hazard has been a “little self-conscious” at Real Madrid but still has a “great future” ahead of him in the Spanish capital, according to Cesc Fabregas.
Hazard completed a €100 million (£87m/$108m) move to Santiago Bernabeu from Chelsea last summer, bringing to an end one of the year’s longest-running transfer sagas.
The Belgium international carved out a reputation as one of the world’s finest players during his seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, but hasn’t been able to reach the same high standards during his debut season with Madrid.
Injuries have significantly limited Hazard’s contribution to the Blancos’ cause over the last 10 months, and he has not played for the club since suffering an ankle fracture during a 1-0 defeat against Levante on February 22.
Fabregas is not surprised that his ex-Chelsea colleague has struggled in his first year at the Bernabeu, with it his belief that the winger has been inhibited by expectations to perform at the Bernabeu.
The former Blues midfielder does, however, think Hazard will overcome a difficult period to turn around his career in Madrid, as he told RTVE : “He has played several good games with Madrid, but it is true that sometimes I have seen him a little self-conscious.
“He has always been a player who has had a hard time starting seasons.
“Even so, I predict a great future.”
Hazard has only featured in 15 matches across all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side since joining the club, and only has one goal to his name.
The 29-year-old underwent surgery on his ankle injury in March, just before the 2019-20 campaign was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, and Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez delivered a positive update on his recovery last month.
“I know he is recovering well. He is not far from running again and there are no complications,” said Martinez.
“We know he will return stronger. We were also fortunate, of course, to have his surgery take place just before the coronavirus outbreak.”
La Liga officials are aiming to restart the season in June, with all matches likely to be played behind closed doors as social distancing measures remain in place to contain the spread of Covid-19.