It’s fair to say it has been up and down for Gareth Bale since his world-record transfer from Tottenham to Real Madrid.
The Wales international’s first season in the Spanish capital was marked by an astounding decisive goal in the Copa del Rey final and a telling strike in the Champions League final that led to Los Blancos winning La Decima.
However, since the turn of this year, things appear to have gone wrong for the gifted attacker.
Goals started drying up, the Madrid fans and media started to turn on him, friction appears present with Cristiano Ronaldo and his confidence has taken a hit.
Someone of Bale’s ability is always going to have suitors, with plenty of rumours linking the Premier League’s biggest teams like Manchester United and Chelsea, with a move for the Wales international.
However, with the potential for a Premier League return, should Bale move back to English football’s top flight if given the chance?
There is certainly an argument that Bale is better off back in the British game.
The Spanish press have clearly vilified the Welshman and winning their respect back is going to take feats of mammoth proportions.
Ronaldo still rules the roost at the Santiago Bernabeu and while the Portugal international is at the club, Bale will always be forced to play in a support role.
A move back to the Premier League, where he would be comfortable in his surroundings and be able to speak English to team-mates again, would alleviate some of the pressure of adapting to a different culture.
United are the team most commonly linked with a move for Bale, with the Red Devils currently crying out for wide players with pace, power and incision.
If he were to move to Old Trafford the Wales international could well be part of the historic club’s rejuvenation into one of the world’s best and would certainly receive much more love and admiration than he is winning in Spain currently.
From the outside, Bale appears to be something of a stubborn and certainly motivated character, with a return to the Premier League all but admitting defeat.
Although the current climate is not one that he is thriving in, there are reasons to suggest that he can relish being in Madrid if he sticks it out.
Ronaldo’s future is a constant source of speculation and if the Ballon d’Or holder leaves it would open the door for Bale to be the club’s main man.
The old adage that form is temporary and class permanent applies here, with it only a matter of time before someone of Bale’s calibre returns to become a superstar in Spain.
A Galactico yes, but one of the world’s best? No – but Bale can still be a success at Madrid if he continues to work hard.