Thursday, December 3, 2020

Crisis At Sanitas?

Real Madrid have a history with stratospheric signings, especially under the stewardship of Florentino Perez, yet as the market has shifted in favour of Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain, Los Blancos have no longer been able to control the market, and it's interesting to compare just how reliable their most recent two biggest signings have been in Gareth Bale and Eden Hazard.

The first word which springs to mind when you hear either of these names is injuries, and that in itself is a problem for the Spanish champions, but just who of the two have actually given the Madrid club more headaches?

Hazard's first year and a half in the Spanish capital has been a nightmare, he has barely been fit enough to string five matches together at any given time and he has thus never really been able to find his role in the team.

After being brought in for a club-record fee to replace the attacking void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure, the Belgian has missed a grand total of 41 matches through injury.

To put this into a little context, Real Madrid play 38 league matches in a season and can expect a minimum of six Champions League group games.

Since Hazard's arrival, Los Blancos have played 48 league matches and 19 European ties, the fact that the Belgian has missed over half of those is alarming.

Injuries were a common theme throughout Bale's time in Spain too, missing 95 matches in total, although history hasn't been kind to the Welsh international, because most of his real problems actually came in the second half of his Real Madrid career.

In his first year and a half with the club, the former Southampton prodigy actually only missed four matches through injury, with muscular problems plaguing him in October of 2013 and 2014.

Furthermore, at this time Bale was involved in a very successful Los Merengues team coached by Carlo Ancelotti and his impact on the team was immediate.

Hazard hasn't yet been given that platform to shine, not through a lack of will on the club's part but rather due to the fact he simply hasn't been fit enough.

Since joining the Spanish champions, Hazard has had eight different injuries, as well as a spell on the sideline after testing positive for COVID-19.

Real Madrid haven't been able to rely on him yet, and whilst the overriding opinion of Bale in Madrid is a negative one, that's more-so due to recent history, because at the beginning he was way more reliable than Hazard has proven to be.

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