After completing his world-record transfer to Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur back in 2013, Gareth Bale appeared destined to go on and cement his status as one of the best players of the era upon becoming a famous ‘galactico’.
Although the Welshman has been instrumental whilst playing for the Spanish giants, winning a wide array of trophies including four for Champions Leagues, the winger appears to be nearing the end of his time with Zinedine Zidane’s team.
Following his proposed move to China falling through, we’re going to take a look at Bale’s current situation and whether he could still be of use to Zidane, while also considering what Real Madrid are looking to achieve this season.
Bale’s current situation:
Only a few weeks ago it appeared likely that Bale would be the latest big name to swap European football for the Chinese Super League following Zidane’s return to the dugout at the Santiago Bernabeu. After the former Tottenham attacker’s £1 million per-week move to Jiangsu Suning fell through, Bale reportedly skipped Madrid’s trip to face Tottenham in the Audi Cup. This was reported to be the result of him being unhappy with how he was being treated by Zidane and the Madrid president, Florentino Perez.
Upon missing the trip, Bale was pictured playing golf when his teammates were losing to Tottenham and was later reminded of his responsibilities by Zidane. Although Bale has only started 79 games in the last four seasons, the Welshman has bagged 102 goals in his 231 appearances for the Spanish outfit.
Could Gareth Bale still be of use to Zidane?
Although the relationship between Bale and Zidane appears to have turned sour, it does beg the question as to whether, if given time, the winger could still be of use to Madrid throughout the upcoming season.
While the Welshman’s return has been impressive since his move six years ago, the timing of his goals have been central to Madrid’s recent success.
In the 2017-18 Champions League final, Bale scored the winning goals as Madrid overcame Liverpool in Kyiv. Furthermore, the attacker also scored the first goal in extra time to give Real Madrid the lead over Atletico Madrid in the 2013-14 Champions League final. A player of Bale’s quality, who can muster a goal from thin air in high-pressure matches, is always a valuable player to have in and around the squad.
With Madrid looking to close the gap on Barcelona in La Liga this season, he could be the type of player to make all the difference in difficult moments.
Real Madrid’s ambitions:
Following a difficult season last time out, Real Madrid finished third and 19 points behind their bitter rivals, Barcelona. Since the 2019 summer transfer opened, Los Blancos have spent big money in signing Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Ferland Mendy, Luka Jovic, and Rodrygo. Because of those vital squad additions, La Liga betting has Madrid at 13/8 to win the league title in the upcoming season.
After struggling both domestically and around Europe last season, Zidane will be hoping that his overhaul of the squad will be enough to see Madrid enjoy a far more successful campaign and once again challenge Atletico Madrid and Barcelona at the top of Spanish football.
What’s next for Bale?
Whatever happens with Bale, his talent is enough to see him become successful again either in Madrid or another club in Europe and beyond. In Madrid’s quest for the league title in the 2019-20 season, however, it remains clear that a player like Bale could provide the spark to see them become champions once again.