Eden Hazard picked up an ankle injury during a training session with Belgium on Sunday at the National Football Centre in Tubize.
Having successfully performed the surgery, it has now been revealed that Hazard will be out of action till the middle of September.
With Real Madrid keen on the Chelsea star, ESPN’s Liam Twomey believes Hazard’s injury could kill Madrid’s interest in the Chelsea star. He also believes that the injury to Hazard could force Chelsea into the transfer market, thereby making it a win-win situation for the club.
He wrote: “This injury means Hazard will not be able to approach the 2017-18 campaign with the physical foundation that underpinned his impressive revival this season, enabling him to register 16 goals (his best tally in a Chelsea shirt) and five assists in 36 Premier League appearances.
Instead, Conte will be forced to balance the immediate need to start strong in the Premier League with the longer-term priority of easing his best player back to full fitness, in the knowledge that Chelsea’s decisive contributions may need to come from elsewhere in the early weeks.
But while Hazard’s injury complicates the start of Chelsea’s title defence (we will get a better idea of just how costly his absence could be when the Premier League fixtures are published on June 14), it arguably simplifies what is already shaping up to be a tricky summer at Stamford Bridge.
For starters, the persistent speculation linking Hazard with a move to Real Madrid should now be put to rest for the foreseeable future.
Nothing the Belgian has said in recent weeks suggests he is in a rush to leave Chelsea, who have no desire to sell at any price. And while Madrid’s “Galactico” transfer policy has never been based on need, it is harder for Florentino Perez to justify big changes to a squad that, as of Saturday, has won three Champions League trophies in the last four seasons.
Hazard himself has admitted that he could easily find himself on the substitutes’ bench if he were to join Madrid now, and this injury should cement the thinking on all sides that even if a move to the Spanish capital is in the 26-year-old’s future, this is not the time.
More crucially, kicking the Hazard to Madrid speculation down the road enables Chelsea to focus all their attentions on the other key decisions they face this summer — and there are a few to navigate.”