After a desperate season for Real Madrid in which they didn’t win the league, Copa del Rey or Champions League, Florentino Perez decided it was time to bring back the Galactico era.

To that end, a serious pursuit of Chelsea’s Eden Hazard reached a successful conclusion with the Belgian being touted as a perfect replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, albeit 12 months late.

Arriving at Real’s pre-season overweight wouldn’t have endeared him to the powers that be at the Santiago Bernabeu, and a thigh injury before the 2019/20 campaign began saw him in the knacker’s yard before a ball had been kicked.

It’s not the start anyone foresaw.

Real Madrid's Belgian midfielder Eden Hazard is pictured during the Audi Cup football match between Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur in Munich, southern Germany, on July 30, 2019. (Photo by Christof STACHE / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)

Fast forward to today and, after seven La Liga games, of which Hazard has barely played a part, the striker is still yet to get on the score sheet or to assist any of his colleagues.

Furthermore, he’s looked sluggish in the matches he has played, and certainly not the game changer that Los Blancos thought that they were buying.

Zinedine Zidane knows all about the pressure of a big money move to Madrid and so is the perfect sounding board, but sooner or later he’ll expect Eden Hazard to come good. Sooner, preferably.

Real’s supporters aren’t known for their patience with their front men either, as Karim Benzema will attest to.

The Frenchman has been booed and whistled on more than one occasion, and it’s to his absolute credit that he’s come through it all to remain one of his team’s most important players.

Real Madrid's forward Eden Hazard celebrates scoring with his team-mate Real Madrid's French forward Karim Benzema (L) during the pre-Season friendly football match FC Red Bull Salzburg v Real Madrid in Salzburg, Austria on August 7, 2019. (Photo by KRUGFOTO / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT (Photo credit should read KRUGFOTO/AFP/Getty Images)

Hazard at least has the luxury of being allowed to settle into his new surroundings, but that goodwill won’t last for too long if he continues to disappoint.

Having spoken at a recent press conference, the player clearly has belief in his own ability, even if he’s the first to admit that he’s not living up to the Galactico tag.

With youngsters Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo Goes already having got off the mark this season, a lack of success in front of goal is going to start to weigh heavily on Hazard’s shoulders.

Having been the biggest fish in the Chelsea pond, the transition was always going to take some getting used to, but Real need some payback on their investment.

He certainly has the quality to help bring the glory days back to Real, but a lack of recent silverware means that the clock is already ticking.

Time is of the essence and the jury is still out.


Listen to the latest episode of the Eye On LaLiga podcast with Oliver Wilson and Jason Pettigrove: The Madrid Derby and No Mess Without Messi

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