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Real Madrid believe 31-year-old winger is past his prime, are happy with his ‘efforts’

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Photo by BRUNO FAHY/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid are said to be losing patience with Eden Hazard. For a player who arrived for an astronomical €100 million from Chelsea, a return of mere six goals in three seasons is a far cry from what he used to be a few years back.

The Belgium international did promise the fans that they would see the best of him this season, but judging by the looks of things, the version he has promised is already past his prime.

This is exactly what those sitting in the Real Madrid offices are currently pondering. As reported by Jose Felix Diaz, while writing for MARCA, while the Madrid management is valuing his efforts, they are barely expecting anything from the winger.

To put things into perspective, Hazard has never been a problem player. On the contrary, he has always vowed to bring the best version of himself in Madrid colours, but it has become obvious that he is no longer the same player who terrorized the Premier League defenders in his seven years with Chelsea.

It’s not only the management, but even the manager, Carlo Ancelotti, has accepted the fact. This is exactly why Hazard failed to get any minutes in the Super League triumph. Furthermore, he has only clocked a mere 39 minutes in his two substitute appearances in La Liga this season.

In all fairness, maybe it is time to face the harsh reality because Hazard is already way down the pecking order. He knows this for the fact that Vinicius Jr is simply irreplaceable and once Rodrygo gets on, there will be absolutely no place for him in the team.

The position the Belgian finds himself in is extremely tricky. He has already made it clear that he is not willing to listen to any offers, but in reality, there are no offers in the first place.

Hence, the association will go on as usual, at least for the ongoing season.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti considering playing a makeshift centre-back pairing for Real Madrid against Valencia – report

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Photo by DESIREE MARTIN/AFP via Getty Images

Real Madrid will take on Valencia on Saturday, looking to maintain their solid lead at the top of the league table.

The Spanish giants are leading the standing with a six-point lead over Girona. A win against Valencia could help them solidify their position at the top while potentially opening up an opportunity to extend the lead to more than six points.

Heading into this game, though, Carlo Ancelotti is facing multiple setbacks, especially in the defensive unit, with Eder Militao, David Alaba and Thibaut Courtois still missing due to injuries.

This will once again put pressure on Ancelotti, as far as the team selection is concerned.

Rudiger & Tchouameni to partner at centre-back vs Valencia

Fortunately for the Real Madrid coach, much of his experimentations this season have worked, including Aurelien Tchouameni’s supreme performances at centre-back.

With that in mind, Diario AS reports Ancelotti is considering playing a makeshift central defensive pair against Valencia, comprising Antonio Rudiger and Tchouameni.

Ancelotti to go with a makeshift central defensive pairing vs Valencia (Photo by Angel Martinez/Getty Images)

This is not the first time the young Frenchman will have to accompany Rudiger at centre-back. He did so earlier in the year when Real Madrid took on RCD Mallorca.

Interestingly, Real Madrid were able to retain a clean sheet, with Rudiger scoring the winning goal, in a narrow 1-0 victory.

What are Ancelotti’s other options?

Ancelotti will be hoping for a similar outcome this time around. However, it must be noted that the Italian will be boosted by the return of Dani Carvajal from suspension.

The veteran Spaniard can be an option at centre-back. But given the way how Tchouameni has impressed onlookers with his performances at centre-back, there is very little reason why he shouldn’t continue in the position.

Tchouameni has even been compared to Javier Mascherano by former Spanish coach Roberto Moreno.

Other than Carvajal, though, Nacho Fernandez is another option for Ancelotti. But the veteran defender is suffering with discomfort and Ancelotti has no plans to risk it.

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