Gareth Bale’s situation has been a conundrum for a long while now. The Welshman has always been the focus of attention for the Spanish media and fans alike. There is speculation linking him with an exit in every single window, but Bale ends up staying every single time too.
This January transfer window saw him get linked with a move back to Tottenham Hotspur. That isn’t the first time that he’s been linked with a return. Reports said that Spurs had reached a breakthrough in the move, but it couldn’t go through on deadline day.
With the summer transfer window now beckoning though, it could be the right time for the Welshman to leave the Santiago Bernabeu. And that might not be Spurs themselves, but any club that comes in to sign him.
Bale’s agent Jonathan Barnett hasn’t really been of help to his situation. He was one of the reasons why Carlo Ancelotti had to leave the club. Clashes with Zinedine Zidane have been constant. The Frenchman once branded Barnett a ‘disgrace’– something that didn’t go down well with either of them.
The summer of 2019 saw Zidane openly claim that Bale will leave in the window. He said: “We’ll have to see what happens in the coming days. We’ll have to see if it goes through tomorrow, if it does then all the better. Let’s hope, for everyone’s sake, that it happens soon. The club is dealing with the club that he’ll move to.”
Just when a move to China was about to happen, Marco Asensio’s long-term injury saw the move fall through.
As for this season, Bale hasn’t been too much away from injury issues. He’s made 13 La Liga appearances, scoring two goals and picking up two assists. He’s faced four separate injuries, missing 13 games because of them. It has hardly been an improvement from the seasons before, as Bale has missed 84 games due to injury since the 2013-14 campaign.
But Bale’s injury issues have been working in Real’s advantage. In what has been a period full of transitions. Eden Hazard’s signing was a sign. The manner in which Rodrygo Goes and Vinicius have been growing in stature is a sign of transition. Luka Jovic is already at the club to take over from whenever Karim Benzema fades away.
Real’s recent 4-1 win over Osasuna saw Bale start. But it was a poor performance, failing to complete a single dribble. Lucas Vazquez came on for him and got a goal for himself. That is an impending sign of how Bale isn’t as good as he once was.
While language issues have been a problem for him too, but a collection of injuries have seen him not be as fast he was in the early days. The infamous ‘Wales, Golf, Madrid’ banner wasn’t of help- a sign that his head is clearly not in the job and he’s only there because of Asensio’s season-ending injury.
If not for the Spaniard’s injury, Bale might not have even been at the Bernabeu currently. He is still 30 and has some good years of football in him. With his current deal running out in the summer of 2022, Real have no option but to cash in on him.
There is still some value in the player and with Brahim Diaz rising up the pecking order- like Rodrygo, they will not miss him at all. And Bale staying at a club that isn’t seen as a priority by him won’t be good for his career either. It is finally time to part ways.