Hazard, a lie nine

Hazard’s ideal position has been the subject of debate in recent years. Conte and Sarri are to blame. The two Italians bet on this new role of the Belgian on the field between 2016 and 2019. The first one he displaced voluntarily at some time and others due to the injuries of Giroud or Morata. For Sarri it was more of an almost philosophical bet on football, in the belief, as he said Bilardo, that the talent of players like Messi or Maradona could not be limited to such a specific area of ​​the field. Its radius of action had to be expanded. Now it is another Italian, Ancelotti, moved by the irruption of Vinicius on the left, the one who has recovered the role of lying forward from Hazard. At least, this time, accompanied by Benzema. The Belgian has played like this (in 4-4-2), his last two games against Celta and Valencia.

That position so little exploited in the past by the star it is one more handicap on the road to his recovery. It is no longer just a physical and mental issue, it is also a matter of game dynamics. In Mestalla, without regularity, he was able to show a couple of quality flashes although he did not find the goal. However, the heat field of the game shows that it is difficult for him to be applied with respect to the space that the second striker must occupy on the field of play.

Hazard himself made his preferences clear in February 2018, after his Chelsea tied at one in the first leg of the Champions League round of 16. “In games like this against quality rivals like Barcelona, ​​it is difficult. You don’t have many balls. I could have touched 25 balls that night and 15 of them were flying over my head, but if I had to choose, I’d rather play like I did in the last 10 minutes, which was on the band. On the wing I feel more comfortable. That is my place ”, sentenced the little player.

Hazard played a total of 352 games with the Chelsea shirt. Of them, only 26 as striker and 21 as second striker. Madrid have already played 49: three as a second striker and two as a forward, both with Ancelotti. The first intention of the Italian coach was to use Hazard as a left-handed winger in a 4-3-3 making a pitchfork with Benzema and Bale. This is how the Belgian played the first three games (Alavés, Levante and Betis). But Vinicius has changed his pace … Hazard continues looking for his place in Madrid.