Cesc Fabregas believes Gareth Bale still has to adapt to life in Spain after the Welshman's uninspired display in Real Madrid's defeat against Barcelona on Sunday.
Bale has had a tough time since moving to the Bernabeu from Tottenham for a world record fee in the summer.
Prior to Sunday's Clasico the 24-year-old had only made three La Liga appearances while only racking up 120 minutes of first team action because of a truncated pre-season, and back and thigh complaints.
He failed to make an impact during Madrid's defeat at the Nou Camp - a fact highlighted by Barcelona's big-money summer buy Neymar getting on the scoresheet - and was withdrawn after 61 minutes, something which coincided with Los Blancos' best spell of the game.
Fabregas believes it will take time for Bale to find his best form, and says the former Spurs man will have to adapt before he can start leaving a mark on games.
"You need to adapt. It is completely different to the Premier League," the Barcelona midfielder said.
"There is not as much space and when you get the ball there are far more opponents around you. He needs time. It is up to him if he comes through it.He has got a lot of pressure on him – €100m is a massive [fee].
"But I think when a great player is a great player then he overcomes it and I'm sure he will."
Neymar opened the scoring for Barcelona in the first half while substitute Alexis Sanchez doubled their lead, before Jese Rodriguez struck a late consolation goal for Madrid.
The result leaves Carlo Ancelott's side six points adrift of Barcelona in La Liga, but the Italian remains upbeat about Madrid's chances this season and about Bale's performance.
"He played well and needs to look for his team-mates' runs. He didn't play badly during that hour," he said.
He added: "I think they are his first matches and he needs to get used to playing with his team-mates, which is normal.
"It doesn't make much difference for him to play on the right or in the middle. We started like that to put more pressure on Sergio Busquets, but after 20 minutes I changed his position to the wing to give him more room."
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