Rio Ferdinand has said he is concerned that Eden Hazard may have joined a Real Madrid side on the decline. Hazard made his first start for the Blancos on Wednesday, but it hardly went according to plan as the Spanish side were soundly beaten 3-0 by Paris Saint-Germain. Angel di Maria scored a pair of goals as PSG took an early lead in Group A of the Champions League. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Hazard joined Madrid this summer in a €100 million (£88m/$112m) move from Chelsea, but his pre-season preparations were cut short by a thigh injury. The Belgian only made his first Real Madrid appearance at the weekend, as he came on for the final 30 minutes of his side’s 3-2 win at home to Levante in La Liga on Saturday.But after a first start that fell short of expectations, former Manchester United star Ferdinand wondered about the timing of Hazard’s move to Spain. “When you go to a new club, especially the size of Real Madrid, you have to earn the right to be the man who gets all the ball,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport. “He’s got to do something in the training games, in the actual games that he plays. “I’m fearful for him that he’s gone there at the wrong time. “This is a team that’s ageing, they’re not on their way up, they’ve not got much spark about them at the moment. That is going to affect him and reflect badly on him in the long term.”After winning the Champions League three times in a row, Madrid’s run ended last season with a stunning 5-3 aggregate defeat to Ajax in the last 16. The Blancos struggled badly in La Liga as well last term, finishing in third place and 19 points behind league champions Barcelona. After watching Hazard’s full debut, Peter Crouch also expressed skepticism that the Belgian could be the same player at the Bernabeu that he was at Chelsea.”Hazard at Chelsea was one of the top five players in the world but watching him tonight he didn’t look it,” Crouch said.”At Chelsea he was the main man and everyone was giving him the ball from everywhere. He won’t get that at Madrid until he earns it.”
Pep Guardiola has hailed Gabriel Jesus as “an animal” after the Brazil striker expressed frustration at his number of first-team starts for Manchester City.Jesus made it three goals in as many starts this season when City began their EFL Cup defence with a 3-0 win at Preston North End in midweek, but he is likely to find himself back on the bench against Everton on Saturday.Sergio Aguero has netted in every Premier League game this season and, although Jesus proclaimed his admiration and respect for City’s all-time leading goalscorer in an interview with Esporte Interativo, the 2017 arrival from Palmeiras stated he was “over the ‘I have to wait’ phase” at the Etihad Stadium. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career “He’s passionate. I read that interview and it was perfect,” Guardiola told a pre-match news conference.”It was incredibly respectful, like Gabriel is. No problem at all. Of course he wants to play. He is the number nine for Brazil.”I said recently, he is maybe the only striker in the world at this level who has to have this mentality, a friendship with Sergio and all the team-mates.”Every time he is on the pitch, if he plays one second, two minutes or 90 minutes, he plays like an animal. In every action he does his best.”Not just Gabriel, all the players want to play all the games. It’s normal. It’s not a problem.”Teenage centre-backs Eric Garcia and Taylor Harwood-Bellis also impressed at Preston – a timely boost for Guardiola.City are short of specialist cover in the heart of defence, following to injuries to Aymeric Laporte and John Stones on the back of Vincent Kompany’s departure.”I knew [they were ready], it was not necessary for them to play against Preston to know it,” Guardiola said.”Of course they are young, they are going to make mistakes like the old players make mistakes.”Of course they are ready. They can train with us and play with us. If they were not ready they would not have played against Preston.” Check out Goal’s Premier League 2019-20 fantasy football podcast for game tips, debate and rivalries.