Tuesday, August 16, 2022

On-Loan Winger Could Stay At Real Madrid If Zidane Leaves: What Should Los Blancos Do?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, AS has claimed that on-loan Premier League winger Gareth Bale could stay at Real Madrid for one final season if Zinedine Zidane leaves before he returns to the Spanish capital when his loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur expires next summer. It has been reported that the Welsh international is keeping a close eye on Zidane’s situation at the Santiago Bernabeu and will consider playing for the Madrid giants again next season if the French head coach is gone by then either on his own accord or if he gets the sack from Florentino Pérez (via AS).

Bale’s Underwhelming Loan Spell At The English Capital So Far

Bale has made an uninspiring start to his loan spell at North London as he has struggled to prove his fitness to Jose Mourinho and earn a regular place in his starting XI. The 31-year-old has been involved in nine matches for Spurs this term, finding the back of the net twice in the process across all fronts.

The Welsh wing wizard has often got the nod to start in Europe where he is averaging 1.0 tackles, 2.8 shots and 1.7 dribbles per game in the UEFA Europa League group stages. He has distributed the ball relatively well after completing 80% of his attempted passes in European football (stats via whoscored).

If Bale can work on improving his fitness, then he could still play a major role for Tottenham this season. However, at 31, he is not getting any younger and could be a player on the decline, especially considering his poor injury record in recent seasons.

Bale could stay at Real Madrid if Zidane leaves (Bale is in action in the photo)
Gareth Bale of Tottenham Hotspur runs with the ball during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on October 18, 2020, in London, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Matt Dunham – Pool/Getty Images)

What Does The Welsh International Bring To The Table?

Despite losing a yard of pace from his game, Bale is still a quick and composed dribbler who can make some dangerous runs with the ball out on the wide areas. He can cause a lot of headaches for the opposition defenders using his athleticism, ball-control and strength.

The 83-time Welsh international is proficient at delivering some inviting crosses into the opponent’s penalty box and can be a threat from the offensive set-pieces as well. However, his poor injury record and lack of consistency have seen his reputation take a hit across European football.

What Should Real Madrid Do With Regards to Bale’s Future?

At the moment, Los Blancos should focus on getting better on the field under the stewardship of Zidane. Even if they decide to part ways with the French manager in the future, they should still consider letting Bale go on a cut-price deal when he returns from his loan spell from England.

Bale is way past his best and looks like a shell of his former shelf these days. The reigning Spanish champions would be better off cutting him loose and using the funds generated from his potential departure to bring in a younger replacement to boost their chances of success in the long-run.

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