January transfer window is still a month and a half away, but that doesn’t stop the tabloids from linking us to top, world class talents, and so far, we have been linked to Gerard Pique, Raphael Varane, Marco Reus and Gareth Bale to name a few.
Now, there’s a good chance that we might not end up with any of the aforementioned names, after all, it’s very rare when such big deals go through in the mid-season transfer window (Fernando Torres comes to mind, but we all know how brilliant he turned out to be!).
But, given our lack of a world class player on the Right Wing, there’s a possibility that Mou might want to strengthen that position in January. So, with Marco Reus and for some weird reasons, Gareth Bale, apparently available in January, we decided to analyze what both of them bring to the table, and who would be a better value for money, if Chelsea do decide to bring one of them to Stamford Bridge this January.
Here’s what we learned:
“He scares people. You can see that he enjoys the pace that he’s got and because of that, he has all the time in the world to look around and to deliver a good shot.” – Ruud Gullit
That quote from Gullit just about describes Gareth Bale.
Widely regarded as the 3rd best player in the world right now, behind Ronaldo and Messi, the Welshman has been something of a revelation in the past few years. The winger joined the Spanish giants from Tottenham last year for a fee reported to be around 85 M pounds, and since then, the Welshman has helped Real Madrid bring Copa Del Rey and the Champions League trophy back to Santiago Bernabeu, scoring in both the finals.
- The 25-year-old winger’s pace and ability are matched by his stamina and his willingness to run all game, attributes that are increasingly important in the modern day football, more so in the system that Jose Mourinho is trying to implement. The talented winger doesn’t have an issue in tracking back and helping out on the defensive side of the pitch while he is obviously one of the best in the world going forward. Bale’s height and physical presence make him pretty much the complete package.
- Bale’s talent and trickery on the pitch have already won him a number of admirers, one of them is Luka Modric. According to the Croatian:
“I don’t know how you stop Gareth. It’s hard, if he plays like that. He’s just been progressing in his game and it’s unbelievable to watch him on the pitch, he’s so quick.”
Jose Mourinho, since his return to the Bridge, has shown the willingness to roll on with a 4-2-3-1 formation. Eden Hazard has been our constant starter on the Left Wing while Oscar looks to have found his feet in the CAM role. But we still lack a World Class player on the Right Wing, who could complement Hazard, Oscar and Fabregas, and there’s no one better in the world right now than Gareth Bale.
- Gareth Bale’s exceptional speed also means that he would be a dangerous threat on the counter-attack. Given Mourinho’s preference to play a counter-attacking game instead of possession based football, Bale would certainly fit into our system. Right now, we have Eden Hazard and Diego Costa, who are our most obvious threats on the break. Having Bale means, we would have more options on the counter attack.
- Apart from the aforementioned points, the fact that Bale has played and excelled in the Premier League is another important reason why the Premier League teams looks so content on acquiring the services of the Welsh superstar. His experience in the Premier League means Bale wouldn’t need much time to get used to the conditions here, and would be more or less a guaranteed hit in the League.
For all the strength and talent a player of the caliber of Gareth Bale brings to the table, there are some obvious downsides to the deal if it does go through.:
- Ancelotti acquired the services of the winger at the expense of nearly 85M pounds, and with the way he has been performing for Madrid, it’s pretty obvious that he would cost nearly that much, if the Premier League teams are interested to bring him back to England. Add to that the whooping 300,000 pounds that he would demand per week, the chances of Bale returning to London looks rather bleak. Chelsea, since the arrival of the recent FFP era, have shown their unwillingness to splash that kind of money in the transfer market, and Mourinho wouldn’t want to change that philosophy, even if it means we have to pass up on Bale.
- It is really difficult to find a weakness or a downside in a player like Gareth Bale, but the fact that he is often injured may play a crucial role in his transfer. The winger spent a good amount of time on the bench at the start of the last season due to injury while the Welshman has just returned to the Madrid’s starting lineup after spending yet another time on the bench out injured. Given the physicality in the PL, the clubs might be hesitant to spend that much money on an injury prone player no matter how good he is!
If you consider Gareth Bale the third best player in the world, Marco Reus certainly ain’t far behind. In fact, some people would argue that Reus is as good as the Welshman, maybe even better in certain aspects of his game. So, let’s take a look at what he brings to the table:
- Marco Reus has been the key player for Borussia Dortmund and Jurgen Klopp since his transfer in 2012. The German winger has scored 32 goals for his club since joining the side in 2012, which is pretty remarkable considering he plays as a winger or CAM. Add to that, the BVB man has power and accuracy with both feet, is an efficient finisher, and is very capable of producing a spectacular goal from distance. Finishing and end products are the obvious things we have been lacking in our team, and no one apart from Diego Costa can boast any significant amount of goals. Marco Reus would definitely be an excellent signing in that respect!
- Another reason which proves that Reus would be a dream signing is the fact that Jurgen Klopp’s BVB uses the similar system which Mourinho is trying to implement in our team. The high-pressing system that brought BVB much success in Europe before their players were robbed away by Bayern Munich is the system Reus thrives in. Jose Mourinho certainly loves the players who are willing to track back and help in the defense while being a force going forward which Willian and Schurrle lack, and this is where Reus fits in.
- The third reason to chose Reus over Bale is the versatility the German brings with him. Gareth Bale, for all his speed and trickery, is a winger who excels only at either wings. Marco Reus, however, can play on the both the wings, as a CAM behind the striker and sometimes even in the Central Midfield mostly due to his ability to closely control the ball with both feet. That kind of versatility certainly wouldn’t cost a team!
- Another and one of the most important facts is, due to a clause in his contract, the German superstar isn’t expected to cost more than 30 M pounds which, however, might increase due to so many top teams including Chelsea, Manchester United and Real Madrid battling it out to acquire the services of the German. Still, the world class winger wouldn’t cost as much as the Welshman, thus making him the more sensible target of the two.
- There is no obvious downside in the player of the quality of Marco Reus, but the fact that the German has never played in a League as physical and demanding as the Premier League maybe one of the negative points playing on the minds of Premier League clubs when you compare him to Gareth Bale. Reus has had his fair share of injuries in Bundesliga, and Premier League is obviously a step up in the physicality department. If Premier League sides are interested in acquiring his services, they would certainly want to weigh up the following reasons before splashing that amount of cash.
So there you have it. Both Reus and Bale are exceptional, world-class footballers. But based on the above reasons, Marco Reus looks a more sensible choice for Chelsea in the long run. Rest depends on Mourinho and what he thinks is best for the team. Do write your views in the comment section below.
Edited By: Girish Bhangre