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Cesc Fabregas on Eden Hazard's Pre-Season: 'You Have to Give Him Time'

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistAugust 7, 2019

Eden Hazard of Real Madrid CF during the Pre-season Friendly match between Real Madrid and Fenerbahce SK at Allianz Arena on July 31, 2019 in Munich, Germany(Photo by VI Images via Getty Images)
VI-Images/Getty Images

Cesc Fabregas has backed Eden Hazard to succeed at Real Madrid despite criticism of the Belgian's early performances for the club in pre-season. 

Per Sport (h/t Glen Williams of MailOnline), the 28-year-old, who signed for Real from Chelsea for £88.5 million back in June, arrived at the club's pre-season tour in Montreal seven kilograms overweight. 

He has played in all five of Real's pre-season games. But despite the fact Hazard has yet to play a competitive match for Los Blancos, there are already calls for him to contribute more:

Tom Allnutt @TomAllnuttAFP

"Five games and yet to make an impact". First pre-season syndrome https://t.co/uLNNrh6bSx

Monaco midfielder Fabregas played with Hazard at Chelsea between 2014 and 2019, and he has said the Belgium international needs time to settle, per COPE (h/t Sport):

"They talk a lot about his weight. It seems like people haven't seen the Premier League for the last seven years. Maybe in pre-season things are a bit harder, but you have to give him time, not just for his physical state but because he has to adapt to a new philosophy, another type of play, other pressures.

"Madrid and Barca have pressures of all kinds, and I think he didn't even know. I'm sure Eden will do well, because he's a crack and I have no doubts about him."

Hazard is far from the only signing Real have made this summer. They have also spent big money on forwards Luka Jovic and Rodrygo, left-back Ferland Mendy and centre-back Eder Militao.

There is little doubt, though, that Hazard is Real's marquee signing.

He has established himself as one of the world's best players during seven years at Chelsea, and he could be the key to Real finally finding a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo.

Real failed to properly replace the Portuguese superstar when he left for Juventus last summer, and as a result their goalscoring suffered.

They came a distant third to Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in La Liga while scoring just 63 goals, their worst return in any season since 1999-2000.

Hazard, meanwhile, had his best season from a personal perspective in 2018-19 as he netted 16 goals and provided 15 assists in the Premier League:

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Eden Hazard for Chelsea in the 2018/2019 Premier League: most successful take-ons (137) most chances created (98) most shots taken (93) most assists (16) most goals (15) Absolutely ran the show. 🇧🇪🇧🇪🇧🇪 https://t.co/4r1tlJIWFq

If he can reproduce that type of form at the Santiago Bernabeu, any criticism of him will disappear quickly.

Hazard will likely make his competitive debut for Real when they kick off their new La Liga campaign away at Celta Vigo on August 17.