Zinedine Zidane Talks Eden Hazard Recovery, Real Madrid January Exits

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJanuary 3, 2020

Real Madrid's Belgian forward Eden Hazard gestures in pain during the UEFA Champions League group A football match Real Madrid against Paris Saint-Germain FC at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on November 26, 2019. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP) (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)

Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has confirmed Eden Hazard will not be fit to take part in the Supercopa de Espana.

The Belgian has not played since he suffered a microfracture in his ankle against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League on November 26.

Zidane discussed the possibility of him featuring in the Supercopa and whether any players might leave Real in January, per Tom Allnutt of Agence France-Presse:

Tom Allnutt @TomAllnuttAFP

Zidane suggests January departures possible. "There are players that have not got minutes and that can be a problem but we speak with them like always. Between now and Jan 31 many things can happen."

Real play Valencia in the semi-final of the Supercopa on Wednesday before a potential final against Barcelona or Atletico Madrid on January 12.

Los Blancos will hope to have Hazard back in action on January 18 when they take on Sevilla in La Liga.

The Belgian had only contributed one goal and four assists in 13 matches for Real since his arrival from Chelsea in the summer.

However, his form had been picking up prior to his injury, and goals would likely have soon followed.

What's more, he's an electric presence in the final third thanks to his pace and almost unrivalled dribbling ability, which often prompts opposition players to target him:

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OptaJean @OptaJean

1030 – Eden Hazard has won 1030 fouls in the top 5 leagues in the past decade, at least 233 more than any other player. Garden 👨‍🌾. @hazardeden10 @ChelseaFC #Opta2010s https://t.co/zVeonVQvIS

As for January, speculation surrounding Gareth Bale will likely resurface again after he came close to leaving Los Blancos in the summer.

Injuries have restricted the Welshman to just 13 appearances this season, and he's played just 847 minutes overall.

However, Zidane said in November he did not want the winger to leave in January. Likewise, the coach said the same of Vinicius Jr. later in that month amid talk the 19-year-old could leave on loan in the winter.

Vinicius was a regular fixture in the side last season, but he has spent just 699 minutes on the pitch in this campaign.

Calciomercato.com (h/t MailOnline's Max Winters) reported in December that summer signing Luka Jovic could be loaned out, despite arriving for an initial €65 million in the summer.

The striker has played just 423 minutes across 14 appearances, an average of 30 minutes per outing, scoring once.

Managing Madrid's Matt Wiltse believes he has been a little unfortunate, though:

Matt Wiltse @MattWiltse4

Luka Jovic has just the 1 goal this season, but in a hypothetical situation where all his unlucky bounces, woodwork hit, and disallowed goals went in, he would probably have 5 or 6 goals at this point. Probably worth at least 3 points on the La Liga table.

Given their investment in the 22-year-old, Real aren't likely to write him off this early, but spending his time on the sidelines won't do much for his development or confidence.

Karim Benzema has 16 goals and seven assists in all competitions this season, so Jovic isn't going to find many opportunities forthcoming if the Frenchman remains fit.

However, there's only one other centre-forward in Real's senior squad, Mariano Diaz. Given Diaz hasn't made a single appearance this season, offloading him will likely be a higher priority than Jovic.  


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