Real Madrid: 5 burning questions from a deflating loss to Alaves

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /
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Real Madrid, Eden Hazard
Eden Hazard of Real Madrid (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

How long will Eden Hazard be out?

Another question at the forefront of every Madridista’s mind. Seeing Eden Hazard limp on the pitch during the first half against Alaves was enough to set off red alarms, and it was tough seeing him make way in just the 28th minute for Rodrygo Goes.

While Rodrygo did his best with Real down 1-0 and has played well this season, including two goals against Inter in the Champions League, the team’s fate in the “loss” column was sealed when Hazard left the pitch.

Real Madrid are a better team with Hazard in the lineup. So much so that, to be honest, Real have no chance of competing in the Champions League without him. It’s a harsh but true statement. Hazard is their superstar player, and nobody at either wide forward position has half of his consistency or quality in 2020. Maybe Rodrygo and Vinicius Junior can reach that level one day, and Rodrygo is already a very good player. But Vini and Marco Asensio, in particular, have been dreadful over the past couple of weeks. We’ll get to one of them later.

So if Hazard’s thigh injury keeps him out for several weeks as it did at the beginning of the season, then Real Madrid could be headed for more valuable dropped points in the league. Again, they play Sevilla and Atletico Madrid in the next two weekends. They have beaten both of those clubs without Hazard in the last year, yes, but Sevilla and Atleti, in particular, are better in 2020-2021 than they were in 2019-2020. And Real? They seem to be significantly worse.