Former Chelsea midfielder, Gus Poyet, has revealed why Real Madrid forward, Eden Hazard, is struggling under manager, Zinedine Zidane, at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Hazard, who is currently injured, established himself as one of the world’s best players during his time at Chelsea.
The 30-year-old, who scored over 100 goals for Chelsea, joined Real Madrid in 2019 for more than £100million.
Hazard’s performances for Zidane’s men were largely underwhelming.
He scored just once during the 2019/20 season and has not featured regularly for the La Liga champions this season due to injury.
Speaking ahead of Real Madrid’s away Champions League last-16 first-leg clash with Atalanta on Wednesday, Poyet said Hazard is struggling at Real Madrid because of his physicality.
According to him, when the winger arrived in Madrid, he suddenly looked older.
“It hurts me a lot in this case. The year Cristiano Ronaldo left was the ideal time to replace him. He had had a great season with Chelsea,” Poyet told Radio MARCA.
“When Hazard arrived in Madrid, he suddenly looked older. I don’t think the style of play is the problem with this player. Neither is the mentality; I would say that it’s physically.
“He has paid the price for some physical problems that have not allowed him to return and have meant he has not returned to his best conditions.
“One of my maxims as a coach is to put players on the pitch with minimal or no excuses, and I don’t think Hazard has ever been like that. There was always some excuse: he was at 60 per cent, the team was not good.
“It’s not Zidane’s fault, the player depends on himself to face this great challenge of turning it around.”