Instead, the Belgian stayed at Chelsea for one more season before making the switch, but injuries still plagued his time in Spain.

Eden Hazard had a great season with Chelsea

Gus Poyet had bemoaned that Eden Hazard should join Real Madrid in the summer of 2018 when Cristiano Ronaldo left. Instead, the Belgian stayed at Chelsea for one more season before making the switch. But injuries still plagued his time in Spain. “When Cristiano Ronaldo left Real Madrid, was the perfect time to replace him. He had a great season with Chelsea,” Poyet told reporters. “When Hazard came to Madrid, he suddenly looked older. I don’t think playstyle is an issue with this player, nor is mentality; I would say it is physical. He paid the price for some of the physical problems that prevented him from returning and meant that he did not return to his best conditions.”

The Belgian was 60 per cent

“One of my maximums as a coach is to put players on the field with minimal or no excuses, and I don’t think he was ever like that. There was always some excuse: he was 60 per cent, the team was not good. It is not Zidane’s fault, and the player depends on himself to face this big challenge to turn it around”. Poyet was asked about his thoughts on Diego Simeone, whom he praised for winning the LaLiga title with Atletico Madrid in 2013/14. “We have very similar things; the way we played was like we gave everything,” Poyet said. “When it comes to comparing us as coaches, we have differences in style. However, we have to thank Cholo for showing the world that it was possible to play football in a different way than Pep Guardiola.”

“He implemented a different style and won the LaLiga, an important thing for the rest of the coaches”. Atlético were able to sign Luis Suarez on a low-value deal last summer, and he is an arrival that Poyet believes Simeone should get some credit for bringing him in. “Cholo was very clever at sniffing out the possibility that Luis Suarez would want to show who he was as a footballer, as well as a striker for choosing that place,” he said. “Put the two things together, and I’m not surprised by Luis Suarez’s performance.”