Gareth Bale's stock is plummeting at Real Madrid. At 28 years old, Bale is no longer a project but Real Madrid continue to wait for the very best version of the Welshman. His future is further from the Santiago Bernabeu than ever despite the fact that he has a contract until 2022. The club are considering selling him next summer and with that, we analyse why.
It is becoming obvious that Bale is not the successor of Cristiano Ronaldo as Florentino Perez had hoped after he arrived in 2013 as the club's most expensive signing. Ronaldo continues to break records at the club and has accumulated five Ballon d'Or awards while Bale has never finished in the top three. Last year he was not even in the top 30.
Bale's injuries have hurt him the most
In no season at Real Madrid has Gareth Bale finished in the top three of the Ballon d'Or
Bale's time at Real Madrid has always been marked by the inconsistency in his availability. He had everything to succeed to make it at the club with extraordinary speed and power, a dominant aerial game and a strong marketability in the English and Asian markets. But injuries have hurt him. The attacker has suffered 19 injuries during his spell at the club and he has missed more than 70 games. His body is a constant source of worry and even he has started to doubt it. You can see it when Bale leaves the field, he is constantly feeling his muscles, particularly his soleus where he has suffered the most. Bale has played just 1,342 minutes of 3,780 this year which is only 35.5%. That matters a lot at Real Madrid in terms of the money they paid for him.
His attitude in the last few games has certainly not helped recently either. Against PSG, he was seen yawning on the bench and later was very slow to take off his tracksuit and finally, he did not take the time to thank the support at the Bernabeu after Sergio Ramos had rounded the troops to do so. Zidane started him in the next game against Betis but was taken off after 73 minutes of a game where he seemed disconnected. Bale completed one dribble and had two shots at goal. Against Leganes when Bale was dropped again, he disappeared in the first half from the dugout.
Protected until now, (Ancelotti said in his autobiography that not putting him in the middle cost him his position) his status is changing. He is no longer untouchable and the situation has grown compicated. Just a couple of weeks ago, Bale's agent sent out a message to say that his client was worth just as much as Neymar, which can now be construed as a hint to potential suitors that he might be on the market too.