Gareth Bale is in grave danger of becoming a one-season-wonder for Real Madrid. After a sterling debut campaign last season, the Welshman's form has tailed off to such an extent that strong rumours continue to circulate concerning a move back to the Premier League.
Whilst there has been nothing concrete agreed between Real and any English club, Florentino Perez could be well advised to take the money and run at this juncture.
Despite a relatively poor return of nine league goals (twelve in all competitions) and seven assists, Bale's value still remains at somewhere between the £100m-£150m mark depending on which newspaper you read.
Recouping that sort of spend at this stage would allow Perez to strengthen in other areas of the squad, particularly in defence.
Perhaps Bale's lack of prowess overall in this campaign can be attributed to Carlo Ancelotti wanting to build the team around Cristiano Ronaldo and thus meaning that Bale has, in general terms, been played out of position for much of the season.
Although he's intelligent enough to play right across the front line, Bale has struggled on the right side. Teams have worked out his game to such an extent that many of his forays are curtailed in the early stages.
Boos tell the story
Certainly the boos that puncture the air at the Santiago Bernabeu when Bale is in possession speaks volumes. They don't suffer fools gladly in this part of Spain, and it's fair to say that they expect quite a bit more for their spend.
Could there also be underlying issues with partner-in-crime Ronaldo? Petulance has always been a watchword for the Portuguese and when Bale failed to pass to him recently for what would've been a certain score, his displeasure was obvious.
Has that damaged any working relationship between the pair as they certainly don't seem as cordial as they once were. Given Real's general poor form since the start of the year would it not pay Carlo Ancelotti to execute a switch around?
More dangerous on the left
Bale is evidently more dangerous when on the left hand flank. We only need remind ourselves of the way he destroyed Inter Milan whilst playing for Tottenham Hotspur in exactly that role.
Ronaldo is very obviously expert in the right hand channel so it's a little bemusing why the Italian continues keeping them on the opposite sides to roles which suit their own game more fully.
Now just a point ahead of Barcelona, it's all to play for during the remainder of the season, including an El Clasico clash at Camp Nou. Bale needs to step up with immediate effect, or else destination Manchester becomes a very real possibility.
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