On the face of it 13 goals in 18 La Liga starts this season isn’t at all bad? But there’s more to life than scoring goals against Las Palmas and Girona especially when you play for Real Madrid.
Gareth Bale’s stop start los blancos career looked to be finally over as Zinedine Zidane seemingly lost patience with his injury prone winger. Left out of both Champions League semi-final legs starting XI’s against Bayern Munich after being substituted at half time in the 3-1 Quarter Final home defeat to Juventus, it looked to be that Zidane would go a different direction with his team, particularly when it mattered most.
But some recent improved performances may suggest Bale is not done yet. After netting against Leganes he scored a beauty at Barcelona and perhaps as the Champions League final dawns is playing himself into the Managers thoughts ahead of the Kiev showpiece against Liverpool. But is Gareth Bale in the long term plans of Zinedine Zidane?
If it wasn’t for injury, many would consider Bale’s Madrid career a success. Scoring a memorable winner in the 2014 Copa del Rey against the old enemy he scored in the Champions League final in the same season and has netted over 80 goals for los merengues along the way. But despite those goals and since his early promise his recent seasons have been dogged by injury and Bale has failed to live up to the top category potential that his €100m warrants and although shown in glimpses not often enough during his time at the Bernabeu.
Everybody is aware of Bale’s talent. But with regular frustrating injuries often to calf & hamstrings is he a player that Zidane can any longer rely on? The emergence of Lucas Vazquez this season has given Zidane a more reliable source of production. With the likes of Llorente, Asensio, Ceballos and Borja Mayoral coming through is it in the clubs best interests to hold these back any longer? Asensio In particular needs to play more and maybe is seen as a natural predecessor to the likes of Ronaldo & Bale?
Aged 28 Bale’s next decision will be his biggest yet. Rumoured with links to Manchester United & a return to Tottenham Hotspur as well as Liverpool I see Bayern Munich and a less demanding Bundesliga as a better fit on his fragile body. Whether Real Madrid want Bale is one question, I’m sure given the opportunity and given the vote of confidence by board and boss he will stay. But if they are to go a different direction, Bale only this week a father with his third child might be looking for a new ‘Premiership style’ property as he uproots Madrid.