Manchester United are facing a crucial summer, as they attempt to re-establish themselves as a force under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Their transfer activity will be under intense scrutiny after the failures of previous summers. Daniel James has already joined the club from Swansea City, but supporters will be expecting bigger names if they are to come back to compete next season. The Mirror report that they could be ready to sign another Welshman, with the club looking at a possible loan deal for Real Madrid winger, Gareth Bale.
This would signify a deal that is reminiscent of deals completed by the club during previous summers. They have often been accused of prioritising a player’s reputation over their suitability to the team on the pitch. This certainly seemed to be the case with Alexis Sanchez, who wasn’t a player that Manchester United needed at the time of signing.
Manchester United have two very talented young forwards in Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford. There have previously been signings that have blocked their path to regular first team minutes. If they were to bring in Bale, they would be accused of doing that yet again, as he would be expecting to start every week for the Red Devils.
However, the club would be foolish not to consider a move if it was possible. Bale has proven himself to be one of Europe’s best players since moving to Real Madrid, helping the club win the Champions League on four occasions. One of the hallmarks of the attacker’s career in Spain has been his ability to contribute in the biggest moments. That was certainly the case during last season’s Champions League final, as he scored an incredible overhead kick to cement his team’s triumph.
His time in Spain hasn’t been totally positive, as he has not always been popular with Real Madrid supporters, who have accused him of not making the effort to acclimatise in the country. Meanwhile, his relationship with Zinedine Zidane hasn’t always been great. For those reasons and the recent arrival of Eden Hazard, Bale will be available this summer.
A contribution of eight goals and three assists this season isn’t great, highlighting the problems that he is currently facing in Madrid. However, at the age of 29, he still has a lot to offer and he would represent a huge upgrade for Manchester United. In his final Premier League season for Tottenham, Bale scored 21 times in 33 matches.
The Welshman outgrew the league and showed that he was ready to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world. He is still capable of that level of performance and he would add goals to the current Manchester United team. This season, their top scorer was Paul Pogba with 13 Premier League goals. That isn’t good enough for a team that wants to be competing for major trophies.
Solskjaer will understand the importance of finding a player that is capable of scoring more than 20 goals in the Premier League. There are few certainties in that regard, but Bale would be one of those. The Welshman had a quiet 2018/19 campaign, but a move back to England could reignite his career. This is a move that Manchester United need to make.