Real Madrid

Carlo Ancelotti claims Eden Hazard is 'back' after Athletic victory

Tom Gott
Hazard impressed against Athletic Club
Hazard impressed against Athletic Club / Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/GettyImages
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Carlo Ancelotti has heaped praise on winger Eden Hazard after his impressive showing in Wednesday's 2-1 victory over Athletic Club.

The Belgian has endured a torrid time in Spain, with injuries preventing him from looking anything like the superstar Real thought they were signing from Chelsea for over £100m in 2019.

Having lost his spot in the starting lineup this season to the in-form Vinicius Junior, there have been plenty of suggestions that Hazard could leave the club in the near future, with a January exit not ruled out, but the 30-year-old put that behind him with an excellent showing against Athletic.

While he did not score or assist during the game - Karim Benzema bagged his side's goals within the opening seven minutes - Hazard was a real threat throughout and wreaked havoc on Athletic's back line, prompting Ancelotti to proclaim: "He's back."

"He worked hard for the team," Ancelotti said (via AS). "It is true that he doubts about his physicality, but he did well.

"In the second half, he tried things. He's back, I agree."

It's a little bit of a stretch at the minute, given Hazard has started just two La Liga games on the bounce and hasn't recorded either a goal or an assist in his last 13 games, but there's no denying that he was impressive against Athletic.

Ancelotti has been desperately looking for an attacking threat on the right wing this season to compliment Vinicius and Benzema, with Marco Asensio surprisingly proving to be the most prolific option for Real.

However, it's Hazard who has been used there in the last two matches, and judging from this performance, he will likely be rewarded with another start against Getafe when La Liga returns in January if he can keep up his fitness.

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