Aston Villa have been urged to make a move for soon-to-be free agent Gareth Bale.
The 32-year-old Welshman’s contract at Real Madrid expires at the end of this month, so he will be able to sign for whichever club he chooses via the Bosman rule, and Gabby Agbonlahor believes that Steven Gerrard should duly pounce.
Asked whether Villa should move for Bale on talkSPORT [via Birmingham Mail], the club’s former striker said: “I’d take him, yeah. Because Leon Bailey had his injury problems and not performed. Aston Villa have got options in Coutinho and Buendia but Bale would offer something different coming from the wide position.”
Villa’s name being mentioned in conjunction with Bale may come as something of a shock. Amid reports mooting several clubs with a possible move for the Wales forward, the Midlanders have been conspicuous by their absence.
While Agbonlahor may be among the first to cite Villa as a possible destination for the 32-year-old, it is certainly not the worst shout in the world.
When Bale – who has been dubbed “unplayable” by Seb Stafford-Bloor – returned to the Premier League on loan in autumn 2020, there was plenty of scrutiny surrounding him. However, he inevitably delivered for Jose Mourinho at Spurs, with 13 attacking returns in 20 top-flight appearances in the form of 11 goals and two assists.
Despite Carlo Ancelotti’s return to Real Madrid, Bale has not been given a chance at all under the manager who first brought him to the Bernabeu in 2013, making just five appearances in La Liga with one goal to show for it. Nonetheless, they all add up, with Bale’s career total now sitting at 183 goals.
A switch to an ambitious Villa side under perhaps a more trusting manager in Gerrard could be enough to rejuvenate Bale’s passion for the game and would likely help the Villans to make a stronger push for European qualification.
This is a prospective move which could pay dividends for both parties, giving Bale the opportunity to gather strong club form ahead of the World Cup with Wales later this year.
Agbonlahor has got this completely right, in our view.