Even though there is plenty of time before the summer transfer window officially opens, the newspapers have already started off their section of the ones rumored to move out.
As every transfer window, big names have again been linked with a move to Chelsea. Let us look at the Welshman Gareth Bale, who has been strongly linked with Mourinho’s side. With Chelsea ready to pay his buy-out clause of £75 million, he could very well end up at Stamford Bridge next season.
Bale moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Real Madrid for a reported fee of £86 million in 2013. He played an integral role in his first season at Real Madrid, helping the club to win the Copa del Ray and the UEFA Champions League, scoring in both finals. But the Welshman has found his second season at the Bernabeu marred by criticism from the Madrid fans, creating a situation that has made his future with the European giants uncertain. Although he denies a rift and still maintains that he’s happy in Madrid and expects to stay but is under intense pressure from the club and fans.
Can we afford him?
Yes, we can. The days when Chelsea were termed as a free-spending title buying club are now long gone. The club is now run as a business seeking profit and squad balance. In the summer, out went David Luiz to PSG for £50m, Romelu Lukaku to Everton for £27m and Demba Ba to Besiktas for £15m, adding up to £92m. In came Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Filipe Luis for a combined £79m.
With Yokohama Rubber officially the new shirt sponsor for the Blues next season, adds another £200million over five years making it £40million per season. While £40m may not seem like a huge figure in comparison to what clubs pay on transfer fees, it is extremely significant in terms of FFP costs. Gareth Bale’s £75 million release clause and his matched £300,000-a-week paycheck will probably hit Chelsea’s wallet, but they would not be breaking the Financial Fair Play rules.
Where would he fit in the squad?
There is no doubt he is an extremely talented player with a lot of potential. He is renowned for his ball striking from distance, his free-kicks and his ability to get past defenders with pace, a great left-foot, and exceptional physical qualities. Let’s first look at Gareth Bale’s natural position; he was naturally a left-back transitioned into a left wing player. A position Chelsea’s little Belgian maestro occupies. Eden Hazard has earned the left-wing position and made it his own, he has excelled and out-performed every player this season. A player who is pitted to be in the Messi-Ronaldo league. It is highly unlikely that the fans and the manager would accept such a drastic change in the attacking midfield. This zeros it down to the right flank.
In the first half of this season, the Blues had several issues on the right-flank. Willian wasn’t performing to his best, making it a weak spot. Juan Cuadrado was the man poised to replace the Brazilian. Competition has brought the best out of Willian after the January window, he has been impeccable over the last few games on the right and has managed to keep Cuadrado out. The last thing we need now is one more name added to the attacking midfield. A player of Gareth Bale’s caliber is not the one to sit out and warm the bench. Behind the striker, it’s a different ball-game altogether with Hazard, Oscar, and Willian, they have got that perfect link-up over the years playing alongside each other. Adding Bale to the right would reshuffle things, and it is more like a player needs to adapt to the squad rather than a squad adapting towards a player. Bale does play on the right at Real Madrid, but his performances have been criticized. He isn’t what he used to be when he left the Premier League.
Do we need him?
The squad is strong and successful. Yes we might have had a poor performance in the Champions League and the post-Christmas games haven’t been up to the Chelsea standards, but they have earned the League Cup and will probably go on to be crowned the Premier League Champions. Not forgetting their performance at the beginning of the season, where they walked over opponents with sheer class. Two trophies in a season is a successful season for this squad.
The price tag of £75million and a £300,000-a-week paycheck is something we don’t need at this given stage. Times are changing at the Bridge, and Jose Mourinho has already promised to give more opportunities to members of the academy. Besides John Terry, the Blues haven’t had an academy graduate making the first team on a regular basis.
Eden Hazard has governed the left-wing for quite some time, and Willian has improved his game and has started to look dangerous on the right. The 25-year-old Welshman certainly doesn’t fit into the current Chelsea squad and Mourinho would probably pass this offer.
The January rumors had Messi at the Bridge, and this time around it’s Gareth Bale. It is understood that Bale wants to remain a Real Madrid player and win over the fans. However, Real Madrid are reportedly willing to let the world’s most expensive player leave. Bale did remind everyone about his abilities after scoring twice in Wales’ 3-0 win over Israel for the European Qualifiers. Nothing can be certain in the game of football and we will have to wait until the window opens for an official news.
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Edited By: Vikram Chandra