Welsh wing wizard Gareth Bale has only managed six appearances for Real Madrid so far and many of those have been from the substitute’s bench. He has also had little or no real pre-season along with a few niggling injuries.
It is safe to say that he hasn’t had the best of starts to his Madrid career.
At the same time, in Barcelona, Neymar has dazzled the Camp Nou with his flair and his penchant for embarrassing defenders. To my mind one of the key reasons why Bale is currently playing for 'Los Galacticos' is due to the arrival of the Brazilian wonderkid at arch rivals Barcelona.
Consider that before the arrival of the Welshman, Real had Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil, Isco, Angel di Maria - not to mention Jese Rodriguez from the academy. That strikes me as a squad that did not need Bale.
However, having sold Gonzalo Higuain to Napoli, Madrid were left with just Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata as the only two recognised strikers left in the squad. As Benzema was woefully out of form last season and Morata is still inexperienced, it begs the question: why didn’t Real Madrid sign a striker?
The answer to that particular question is probably due to the president of Real Madrid - Florentino Perez - wanting to sign a Galactico to rival Neymar.
Having spent £85 million on Bale, Perez has put manager Carlo Ancelotti under great pressure to play his new star man, even if he is nowhere near match fitness - which has helped neither the team nor the player.
This is of particular importance, as Bale’s direct rival for a spot on the right wing is currently Di Maria, who has three goals and six assists in 13 appearances so far this season. By forcing Ancelotti to play Bale, this is only damaging the confidence of Di Maria.
At Tottenham, Bale was the undisputed king (something which cannot be said at Madrid) and was one of the best players in the Premier League. With only one super season behind him, might he have been better following the example of Ronaldo and staying in England for one more season to help hone his talents before moving?
It certainly worked for Ronaldo. By waiting an extra year he could also have improved his Spanish further before making the move, which would have helped him settle into his new surroundings more comfortably.
In my opinion, Bale is potentially a great signing for Real Madrid who arrived perhaps a season too early and ultimately it could be Perez’s insistence that he arrive a year early at great expense to both the player and the club which leads to him not living up to his hefty transfer.
If anyone can prove me wrong though, it is Bale.