The stats show why Real Madrid have made the Chelsea man a priority in their summer rebuild
Real Madrid have agreed a deal in principle worth £88m to sign Eden Hazard from Chelsea, according to Sky Sports News, but will he be a success in Spain?
The Belgium international enjoyed his most productive season in English football this term with 16 goals and 15 assists, having moved to Stamford Bridge from Lille seven years ago.
But he now appears to be bound for Madrid, and it comes at a bad time for the Blues, who are currently appealing against a two-window transfer ban, although they have already welcomed Christian Pulisic this summer.
Here, we examine the 28-year-old’s brilliant season in stats and look at what he will offer Real.
Premier League rankings, 2018/19
- 1E. HazardChelsea152R. FraserBournemouth143=T. Alexander-ArnoldLiverpool123=C. EriksenTottenham125A. RobertsonLiverpool116=L. SanéMan City106=R. SterlingMan City108=C. WilsonBournemouth98=P. PogbaMan Utd910=D. SilvaMan City8
Hazard’s headline stats
Before inspiring Chelsea to Europa League final success in Baku, Hazard was the dominant force behind the Blues’ surge to secure a Champions League spot, in what would be summarised as a difficult first season for manager Maurizio Sarri.
As the graphic below shows, Hazard was involved in a higher proportion of team goals than any other player in the top flight, scoring or assisting 31 of Chelsea’s 63 in the Premier League.
The Belgian ran the Blues’ frontline almost single-handedly, topping the club’s chart for goals, shots, penalties scored, assists and chances created, while only Willian attempted more crosses.
Chelsea rankings, PL, 2018/19
- 1E. HazardChelsea162PedroChelsea8
Interestingly, the graphic below reveals Hazard linked most effectively with midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek – who is facing up to six months out after rupturing his Achilles in a post-season charity match.
In Spain, Real Madrid finished the season 19 points adrift from champions Barcelona, and boss Zinedine Zidane will be attracted to Hazard’s talismanic returns – in addition to his consistency throughout the campaign.
The graphic below shows his form by matchday and reveals a balanced distribution of stellar performances, according to the Sky Sports Power Rankings.
Hazard’s conversion rate of 27 per cent also emphasises his clinical edge and economy in front of goal – with only Sadio Mane, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling yielding similar returns from 50 or more shots.
Eden Hazard Premier League stats, 2018/19
- 37Games played2,925Minutes played32Starts8Sub off
The graphic below shows how Sarri frequently deployed Hazard up top this season, which would also appeal to Madrid – who have struggled to find prolific wingers and have relied heavily on Karim Benzema’s 21 goals in La Liga.
Real Madrid rankings, La Liga, 2018/19
- 1K. BenzemaR. Madrid212G. BaleR. Madrid83S. RamosR. Madrid64=MarianoR. Madrid34=D. Ceballos FernándezR. Madrid3
While much has been made of Hazard’s league-topping numbers during this campaign, one lesser-known metric he dominated was forward passes, of which he attempted 387 – more than any other forward in the division.
The sonar passing graphic below reveals just how he stands apart for the rest in this area, with his progressive style translating into a majority of passes being fed to team-mates in front of him.
The interactive graphic below reveals the Belgian’s forward-thinking passing style during Chelsea’s 4-1 win over Cardiff in September in which he scored a hat-trick.
Select ‘Successful passes’ on the ‘Events’ tab below to see all 66 completed, the second-highest total he recorded in a league game all season – having made a season-topping 91 against Newcastle 11 days earlier.
The Eden Hazard show
|Premier LeagueSep 15|
Unsurprisingly, Hazard completed the most passing combinations with defensive midfielder Jorginho and left-back Marcos Alonso this season, while Loftus-Cheek and David Luiz frequently sought the Belgian.
Where could Hazard fit at Real?
Zidane has revealed Gareth Bale “does not fit” in his team and Hazard outperformed the Wales international for goals and assists this season – almost matching the strike-rate of central striker Benzema.
Hazard’s style of play is frequently compared with Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi, but, as the graphic below shows, he remains some way off the Argentine – in addition to trailing behind Paris-Saint Germain youngster Kylian Mbappe.
Madrid have frequently deployed Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez down the flanks this term, and the Belgian clearly surpasses both in the stats, although the pair appear to track back more frequently.
The Football Whispers data suggests only seven forwards in the world match or surpass Hazard’s form, though: Messi, Mbappe, Mohamed Salah, Cristiano Ronaldo, Robert Lewandowski, Benzema and Luis Suarez.
It’s an illustrious list which underlines why Madrid made him their number one transfer target this summer.