Real Madrid move don't guarantee career boost: former and present Blues players prove that
Hazard should think twice before deciding his future. Mateo Kovacic and Nicolas Anelka are good examples of players, who struggled to fulfil their potential at Santiago Bernabeu. Crispin Andrews writes on the point
Mateo Kovacic (€29m, 2015)
"Hazard only needs to look across the Chelsea dressing room for a cautionary tale. Kovacic, the dynamic midfielder who’s keeping Cesc Fabregas, Ross Barkley and Ruben Loftus-Cheek out of the Blues’ best XI, joined Real in 2015 after two successful years with Inter Milan.
"At first, the Croatian’s versatility earned him sporadic starts in various positions under Rafa Benitez. But when Zinedine Zidane took over and decided not to tinker with the starting line-up, Kovacic was never going to oust Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro from the midfield. (It's been a similar story with his national team too, where he has Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Milan Badelj for competition.)
"After 37 league starts in three seasons, he was shipped out on loan to Chelsea."
Nicolas Anelka (€35m, 1999)
"Before he went on his world tour of clubs, Anelka signed for Madrid in 1999 after two successful years breaking through at Arsenal. Fast, direct and powerful, but also temperamental; for Real, Anelka scored against Barcelona in a 3-0 Clasico triumph and twice against Bayern Munich in the Champions League semi-finals – one in each leg.
"However, this was no great success story: the Frenchman also got himself suspended for 45 days after falling out with coach Vicente del Bosque, and later claimed that certain Madrid players didn’t like him because he took Raul’s place in the side.
"After just one season – albeit one that culminated in him lifting the Champions League trophy – Anelka moved on to first club PSG, where he again fell out with the coach (this time Luis Fernandez). He went on to play for nine more teams (12 altogether) in the 15 years that followed."