As reported by The Express and pretty much every other paper in England, Manchester United are allegedly targeting Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale for a summer move to Old Trafford. In fact, apart from recent revelations regarding Raheem Sterling, it’s probably the biggest talking point ahead of the coming transfer window.
Indeed, the Wales international seems to be enduring a rather rotten time at the Bernabeu, despite netting 38 goals in 83 apperances and last term helping Real Madrid claim their first Champions League title for over a decade, with fans so angry at his recent performances some even attacked his car.
We at Football Fancast, however, still view the Welsh wizard as one of the best in world football and think the Red Devils would be mad to pass on the opportunity of snapping him up this summer.
And just in case you need further convincing on the issue, we’ve come up with FIVE reasons why.
Don’t be fooled by all the hot air coming out of the Bernabeu at the minute – moving to Real Madrid for a world-record £87million has unquestionably made Gareth Bale a better player.
Although his technical qualities were never in doubt they’ve reached completely new proportions in the Spanish capital, with nifty foot-work, reverse passes, cute flick-ons and even the odd nutmeg aplenty.
The demands of La Liga have made the Welsh wizard a slightly different type of player, but they’ve also hugely improved his capability in tight spaces, adding a whole new dimension to his game from the more simplistic mode of proving incredibly destructive on the counter-attack.
Indeed, Bale’s looked finer-tuned and better-polished over the last two seasons, in my opinion anyway, whilst his goal return has remained relatively on par with his ultimate campaign at Tottenham.
United aren’t picking up damaged goods or a reject – they’re signing a player who has developed as expected since moving to Real.
There’s always been something about Gareth Bale that just epitomises Manchester United.
A winger of power, pace, industry and goals sums up almost everything about the Sir Alex Ferguson philosophy – the philosophy that lead the Red Devils to 13 consecutive Premier League titles.
Of course, we’re in a different era now and United are working under Louis van Gaal’s somewhat more cautious ethos. But the 25 year-old would be the perfect throwback – a player that bridges new and old – whilst comparisons with compatriot Ryan Giggs are somewhat inevitable.
Paul Scholes believes Bale would be perfect for the Red Devils and I agree; there’s perhaps no other winger in world football right now, apart from Cristiano Ronaldo, who encapsulates the Old Trafford outfit’s fundamental beliefs so perfectly.
Nobody doubts Manchester United’s ambitions to become the Premier League powerhouse of yesteryear once again, but signing Gareth Bale this summer would constitute an enormous statement of intent on that front.
Big signings, such as the former Tottenham star, can often bring a lift to the whole club, galvanising the fans, commanding a higher level of performance from the rest of the squad and subsequently striking fear into the hearts of their rivals.
Although Bale will likely cost a club-record fee this summer, it’ll be worth every penny if the confidence his sheer presence provides leads to the first Premier League title of the post-Ferguson era.
From a tactical perspective, what Manchester United have lacked most this season is a penetrative presence in the final third who can contest the space behind the opposition backline.
Wayne Rooney and Angel Di Maria have provided this on occasion, but both are equally inclined to cut inside and link up with the midfield – so there’s no real consistent threat to keep opposing defenders on the back foot.
This is epitomised best by perhaps Radamel Falcao and Robin van Perise, two forwards who have offered very little movement or physicality this term and resultantly struggled for goals.
Gareth Bale, on the other hand, would address that need in abundance. He was recently revealed to be the second-fasted player in world football, and has indeed made a career out of his devastating pace.
In addition to making United a formidable force on the counter-attack, the sheer notion of the Welshman’s blistering speed will force defences to set up deeper, allowing the likes of Rooney, Di Maria, Juan Mata and Ander Herrera considerably more space in midfield.
In my opinion, Manchester United do need another winger this summer, whether it’s Gareth Bale or somebody else. The jury’s still out on where Angel Di Maria’s best position actually lies, whilst the likes of Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young are some way below the standard required.
But realistic alternatives to the Wales international are currently rather thin on the ground. One could point to Borussia Dortmund’s Marco Reus, but he’s just signed a new contract. Maybe Barcelona’s Pedro, but he’s never quite been in the same category as the former Spurs talisman. Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery? Too old and seemingly happy enough at Bayern Munich. And there’s no way Arsenal or Manchester City are going to be surrendering Alexis Sanchez or Raheem Sterling to the Red Devils this summer.
Consequentially, it’s either an expensive but proven Gareth Bale, or a speculative punt on a player who may or may not come good. If Manchester United plan on winning the Premier League title again any time soon, they need established talent like the 25 year-old.