Gareth Bale’s time is almost up. After the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo, the Welshman was expected to step forward and become a leader, but that has not happened. He had yet another disappointing performance against Eibar on Saturday and his stats prove it: he lost the ball 21 times, he made only 10 passes in the opponent’s half and he was caught offside on three occasions. Madrid needed him to help them through a difficult moment and he failed to show up.
Unlike in previous years, the club’s patience has run out. If he doesn’t react in the months that remain until the end of the season, Florentino Pérez will start looking for offers. Bale will turn 30 next summer. It's now or never. If he doesn’t live up to expectations, it will be assumed that he will never take over Ronaldo’s mantle and become a leader.
The Welshman has been disappointing so far this season. He has scored just five goals in the 16 games he has played for Madrid (one every 253 minutes). He is now getting the minutes he demanded after the Champions League final, but he has not taken advantage of them. He has now gone 532 minutes without a goal.
Besides his performance, the club is also disappointed with his distant and cold attitude and demands more commitment from his part. Bale still has time to reverse this situation. The final decision on how to what to do with the Welshman will not be taken until the end of the season, but at the moment he is walking on a tightrope.