Someone needs to say it out loud – Gareth Bale did not meet the expectations during his nearly five-year stay at Real Madrid.
The Welsh wizard joined La Liga giants in September 2013 for an undisclosed fee believed to be in the region of €100 million which made him the most expensive Real Madrid player with this fee eclipsing the previous record-holder Cristiano Ronaldo who arrived in 2009 for €94 million from Manchester United.
Real Madrid Failure?
When you play that amount of money for a player, you would expect him to grow into a leader of the team who will produce magic with his every step on the football pitch.
But instead of a wizardry from the Welsh international, Real Madrid disappointingly got a player who struggled to adapt to his new surroundings, break the language barrier, get out of the Cristiano Ronaldo’s shadow and uphold his fitness in Madrid.
Four and a half-years later, Gareth Bale has become a sporadically used player who only made 16 La Liga starts and further 6 substitute appearances in the Spanish top flight. His Champions League influence ahead of his team’s semi-final challenge has been limited to mere three starts, whereas he also made one Copa del Rey appearance for Los Blancos.
To be completely honest and fair to the former Tottenham Hotspur star he did manage to make most of the limited time he spent on the pitch this season.
From the statistical point of view, the Welshman is Real Madrid’s second-highest goal scorer in La Liga with 11 goals on his tally which means he scores 0.7 goals per 90 minutes.
For the good part of his playing time – it would appear to a neutral observer – that Gareth Bale has been detached from the rest of the team. Without the natural fluidity in his play, Bale does not entirely fit into the system which led Zinedine Zidane to choose the likes of Asensio, Isco and Lucas over Gareth Bale.
🔥🔥 Gareth Bale 🔥🔥 pic.twitter.com/uf1Fq3wsBB
— Llarena (@Fachista__) April 11, 2018
A Shadow of Former Self
Dropped for Real Madrid’s La Liga clash at the weekend, Gareth Bale came on as a substitute in his team’s 1-1 stalemate against Athletic Bilbao on Wednesday. His stock appears to have plummeted in recent months and question marks are already surrounding his future at Real Madrid.
Only a shadow of his former self who blazed past Marc Bartra in the 86th minute of the Copa del Rey final to score one of his most memorable goals in Spain, Gareth Bale is standing at the crossroads of his career.
— Manar M. Sarhan (@ManarSarhan) April 16, 2018
Heavily linked with Manchester United last summer, the 28-year-old has once again emerged as a transfer target for a couple of English sides. Namely, Manchester United still remain favourites to sign him at 2/1 betting odds but Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur have both been thrown into the mixture as well.
According to the reports from Don Balon, Gareth Bale is open to a reunion with his former club where he would inherit the No.10 shirt from Harry Kane who – for his own part – is edging towards a move in the opposite direction.
Real Madrid are said to be looking for a long-term replacement for Karim Benzema and a direct man swap with Tottenham could end up being the most elegant way to resolve the Gareth Bale conundrum.
Would return to Tottenham be the best choice for Gareth Bale?
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