Gareth Bale has to adapt, says Laudrup

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Swansea City boss Michael Laudrup believes Gareth Bale will need time to adapt after his world-record move from Tottenham to Real Madrid. 

24-year-old Bale joined the Spanish giants for a whopping £85 million last weekend following protracted negotiations and was officially unveiled to thousands of adoring supporters at the Santiago Bernabeu on Monday. 

And while such an eye-watering price tag may see the expectations around Bale significantly increase, Laudrup, who spent two years as a Real player between 1994-96, insists the Welsh star must be given the chance to get up to speed with a different style of football. 

"I really hope they will give him time to adapt because he is a great player," he was quoted by BBC Sport. "I think he has a lot of quality. [But] because he is now the most expensive player in the world people will compare him from day one with Ronaldo, first because he is playing next to him [at Real], and Messi [Barcelona striker], and it's not fair.

"First of all he is younger than them. Secondly he has to adapt to Spanish football which is different [from] the Premier. "Gareth Bale will have to play in much more tight spaces. If you compare him from day one and he has to do exactly the same numbers as Cristiano Ronaldo then it will be difficult.

"He's younger. He needs to adapt so you have to give him time. The problem is when you have [a] price [tag] on your shoulder patience is not one of the things you get the most."

Additionally, Laudrup claims that Bale, who was only the third player to win both the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards earlier this year after a truly phenomenal season at White Hart Lane, will need to acclimatise to the sheer weight of expectation that constantly surrounds his new club.

"There are two sports papers in Madrid. The first 14 or 16 pages are on Real Madrid - every day, 365 days a year. It's completely different. You walk down the street and suddenly 100 people are taking pictures.

"It's a part of it. It's a different life, especially off the pitch. He has the qualities to succeed but it's the whole package. [If you] learn the language it's easier to adapt to life in general," he added. 

Bale, who has not played for over a month due to a foot injury, has been put given a special fitness programme by Real in order to rapidly increase his fitness and he could be in line to make his La Liga debut on September 14 away to Villarreal. 

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Gareth Bale
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