Friday, October 23, 2020

Courtois backs Hazard to explode at Real Madrid after injury problems

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Thibaut Courtois backed Eden Hazard to finally “blow up” for Real Madrid after their ill-fated injury streak.

Hazard has yet to appear for Madrid this season, having suffered a muscle injury just as he was approaching returning from an ankle problem.

The playmaker struggled to make a big impact for the LaLiga giants in his first season following his € 100 million (£ 86 million) arrival from Chelsea last year.

But Courtois, teammate of Belgium and Madrid, believes it is only a matter of time before Hazard meets at the Santiago Bernabéu.

“Danger? I have no doubt, I’m sure we’ll see the best Eden Hazard,” the goalkeeper told Cadena SER on Wednesday.

“He is the first wanting to show it. I see it very well and hopefully soon I can show it.

“Just before his injury, he played several games very well and there he was so unlucky and getting out of that was not easy.

“But now this month I saw him train very well. I am sure that in a short time it will explode and bring great joy to the team ”.

Courtois came to Madrid from Chelsea in 2018 and also struggled early on, but has changed his form.

The 28-year-old paid tribute to coach Zinedine Zidane for continuing to support him.

“Zidane has given me a lot of confidence. I always felt like he was counting on me and it’s important, ”Courtois said.

“In those difficult moments at the beginning of last year, if you don’t feel like the coach is with you, it becomes difficult.”

Courtois’ stoppage percentage in LaLiga in his first season with Madrid in 2018-19 was 65.4, according to Opta.

That figure improved to 79.2 last season, as he faced 302 shots in both seasons.

In four games so far in 2020-21, Courtois’ save percentage is 86.7, which shows his improvement at Madrid.

Madrid, LaLiga leaders with 10 points from four games, host Cádiz on Saturday.

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