Gareth Bale is the name on everyone’s lips these days and why not. Bale is the superstar of world football at the moment, earning praise and plaudits left, right and center. The mercurial full back turned winger has the world at his feet, and at Tottenham Hotspur, he has grown into a truly world class performer on the pitch. Bale’s exploits on the pitch haven’t gone unnoticed in the world of football, and many are interested in his services. But that elusive signature is all that is missing and Tottenham have done well to stave off any interest, even Real Madrid seems to have backtracked in their pursuit of the Welsh wizard. Manchester United is another of the many top clubs to be linked with the Welshman, as we assess why Bale is not the player Manchester United need right now.
- Hefty price tag Given a player of Bale’s talent and pedigree, it is not hard to guess that he comes at an unrealistically heavy price tag. Plus Tottenham are known for being tough negotiators and they don’t let their stars leave for cheap, you can only look at the Luka Modric transfer to Real Madrid last summer to gauge that. The money they received from the sales of Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane a few seasons ago are testament to the fact that Daniel Levy and Co like to play hardball. With Bale in demand, a fee upwards of the world record 80million pounds won’t be enough to strike a deal, and Manchester United does not have to pay silly money to get their man. There are lots of alternatives in the market, and given Bale’s inflated price, they will probably dodge a bullet if they don’t get the Welshman.
- Manchester United need to strengthen in other areas.
- Rather than splash the quid on one fish, David Moyes and Co should look at strengthening in other positions. Manchester United look feeble in midfield and with Paul Scholes gone, they need a midfield general more than ever. Their pursuit of their reported targets hasn’t come to pass, the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Kevin Strootman joining other clubs, and with only a month to go for the season to start, they must be quick to get their man as the likes of Cleverley, Carrick and the injury prone Fletcher aren’t world beaters and could not be banked on to carry the club. The capture of Bale will be something of an extravagance at the moment and rather than focusing on something they do not desperately require, they should focus on their immediate requirements.
- Plenty of wingers.
- Manchester United is a team stocked heavily with wingers. The January purchase of England starlet Wilfried Zaha will provide adequate competition for the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia and Nani. Although the Portuguese Nani looks to be heading out, interest in the winger has cooled down recently and he looks more likely to stay. With no dearth of quality wingers, Gareth Bale will be a white elephant for United, and rather than bench one of the other four for Bale’s sake, David Moyes should be looking to give all for a chance. The bale will surely be a starter, as big money players seldom warm benches and this could be the beginning of disharmony in the United camp which is the last thing they need at this stage of transition.
- Limited European experience Gareth Bale, for all his exploits in the Champions League couple of seasons ago, is inexperienced at the highest of levels. It is difficult to say whether he belongs to the upper echelons of football but his limited experience may be something of a downside for him. His ability is in no doubt but whether he has got the temperament to aid his talent is the big question and with Manchester United desperate to close the gap between themselves and the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich, they can ill afford to experiment with the short on experience Welshman.
- High risk involved.
- Gareth Bale for all his otherworldly talent is a high risk purchase, given his price and his aforementioned downside. David Moyes isn’t too much of a flashy manager, and he could do well by fishing in other seas rather than pulling all stops for the Welsh wizard. Bale will bring with him his globally popular image and will definitely sell shirts but nothing can be predicted at hindsight. An injury-hit campaign will surely derail his progress and you don’t spend that kind of silly money, however big the player is, to see them build time in the treatment room. This is only a possibility, probably the worst case scenario, but still a Manchester United could do far better things than buying Bale.