Real Madrid Transfers: How would Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe fit together?

Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Eden Hazard (Photo by Alejandro/DeFodi Images via Getty Images) /

Real Madrid have designs on signing Kylian Mbappe within the next two summer transfer windows, but how would he and Eden Hazard mesh?

In the summer 2019 transfer window, Real Madrid spent about 300 million euros to inject the squad with new talent so that Zinedine Zidane would have a fighting chance in La Liga. Most of the signings were young players, who, admittedly, haven’t quite worked out, but there was one clear superstar in Eden Hazard. Unfortunately, Hazard wasn’t healthy enough to truly contribute, yet Zidane won the league anyway.

Fast forward to 2021, and Hazard is coming off his first start against Osasuna since his latest injury. Hazard has registered just 257 minutes in La Liga this season, and Real Madrid do not have a single winger with more than two goals.

Kylian Mbappe, thus, remains at the top of Madridistas’ wishlists. The PSG superstar is tied with Boulaye Dia as Ligue 1’s leading scorer, and he has five assists to go with 12 goals. Although many fans would like to see Mbappe return to the playing style that made him the world’s most exciting prospect at AS Monaco, the 2018 World Cup standout is still an efficient scoring – and even assisting – machine.

Real Madrid will find it difficult to sign him in 2021 due to PSG’s demands and the financial crisis, but a 2022 free transfer is not off the table if Mbappe wants a move to the new-look Santiago Bernabeu. The ball is fully in Mbappe’s court, though Madridistas are additionally worried that a better coach, Mauricio Pochettino, could ultimately sway the French forward’s decision.

If Los Blancos were to sign Mbappe, they would have a world-class trio of attacking players in Hazard, Mbappe, and legendary striker Karim Benzema. All three players are among the world’s best when fully healthy, and they are all capable of scoring AND assisting in the double-digits. All three of them.

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When I watch Mbappe play, I believe he is at his best as a left winger/forward. That was his position coming up at Monaco, and it’s the position he has received the second-most starts with at PSG. But with both France and PSG, Mbappe has shown world-class ability through the middle and on the right.

Therefore, Mbappe would start on the right side if he were to join Los Merengues. Currently, Real’s best options on the right are Lucas Vazquez and Rodrygo Goes, with Marco Asensio a notch below them. Brahim Diaz of Milan could be an option as well, since his loan will be up at the end of the 2020-2021 season. Conventional wisdom states that Real Madrid will not sell the player to Milan, though that could be difficult after 2022 if Mbappe joins.

But Mbappe is a sure-fire starter in every single game. Hazard is in that same tier when he is healthy. When he isn’t, Mbappe could start on the left, or Real Madrid could use Vinicius Junior, who will, by then, be a more complete winger. Rodrygo is, if you ask me, even better on the left, too.

Mbappe and Hazard are both highly-skilled, unselfish wingers who can quickly start attacks and put defenders on a string. They have amazing lateral explosiveness and agility, and they can beat defenders with a high degree of efficiency. Most importantly, their movement opens up opportunities for other players, because they are not static forwards, which is a problem Real Madrid currently have.

What’s interesting is that intelligence, goal contributions in the goals and assists column, great dribbling skills, and active movement are all traits that can describe Benzema. And we all know that Benzema is the kind of No. 9 who enjoys drifting wide, mostly to the left, to play-make and serve a high-scoring wide forward.

Mbappe has five assists this season, but he would be signed for his goals. And nobody on Real Madrid has the pure goal-scoring tools of Mbappe, which is, again, why he is so coveted by the fanbase. Everyone knows he is the game-changer Real seek on the wings in terms of scoring.

Hazard, Benzema, and Mbappe thus would be a fluid front three, interchanging positions when needed and linking up with quick passing. They could bring back the old days of Real’s best attacking football wherein the club could swiftly get up the pitch with pace and precision passing, unafraid to beat defenders off the dribble.

But critically, they cannot all do the exact same thing. Hazard is the best of the three at breaking down defenders with his close control and “quarterbacking” in the final third. Benzema is great at quickly facilitating play and linking up with others, or producing dummy runs. And Mbappe is excellent at producing jaw-dropping magic on his own and making plays inside the penalty box.

It’s not a stretch to say that Benzema, Mbappe, and Hazard would be a dream trio that would form the best attacking trident in European football. Hazard and Mbappe may be at their best at the same position on the left, but these two wide forwards won’t get in the way of each other. On the contrary, their playing styles in the final third are complementary.

They are both highly productive and efficient in some of the same ways, but they go about their business a little bit differently. Hazard is more of a dribbler and creator, while Mbappe is more of a scorer. Hazard, thus, can help Mbappe obtain the space he needs to score on the right, while Mbappe can, in turn, help quickly feed Hazard back or finish a juicy chance himself. The chance for one-twos and individual highlights that leave low-blocks for dead, which is much-needed in Madrid, is tantalizing.

dark. Next. Real Madrid should give Vinicius Junior a bigger role off the bench

All of this is wistfulness until there are clear signs a deal for Mbappe can be done, but, rest assured, a healthy Hazard and a signed-sealed-and-delivered Mbappe would make for a wide forward duo for the ages. At least, it looks that way on paper.