With Eden Hazard’s arrival at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid are adding a player with many talents to their squad and one of those talents is dribbling.
The Belgian was ranked third in Europe’s top five leagues for dribbles last season, only behind Sofiane Boufal of Celta Vigo and Nice’s Allan Saint-Maximin.
Boufal racked up 144 and Saint-Maximin had 143, while Hazard came in with 138, even ahead of Lionel Messi’s 134.
Although he’s close but not quite top of this table, he does occupy the summit of another ranking as Hazard is successful 61.61 percent of the time he takes on an opponent, totalling at 224 attempts.
Messi again trails the former Chelsea player, completing 56.78 of his 236 attempts.
With the ball at his feet, then, there’s few who can match Real Madrid’s latest signing, who isn’t arriving in the capital to replace Cristiano Ronaldo’s 50 goals per season, but to instead give life to the attack which has at times seemed too slow since the Portuguese moved on.
Hazard will be an unbalancing factor and a player who can unlock opposing defences, creating space for himself and others to exploit.
His relationship with Karim Benzema will go a long way to determining whether or not next season is a success at the Bernabeu, but how he worked with Olivier Giroud at Chelsea suggests that Real Madrid fans could be in for a treat in 2019/20.
Scoring just 63 times in the league this season, Los Blancos have been left wanting in the final third and a tally this low doesn’t accommodate for anything close to a title push, something Zinedine Zidane knows all too well.
Hazard is the man chosen to fix Real Madrid’s problems and, if he’s given the ball, there’s no reason to suggest that he can’t do it.