Ever since landing at Real Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur in 2013 for a then-world record transfer fee of €100.8 million, Gareth Bale has been living in the shadow of Cristiano Ronaldo.
Despite winning four Champions League titles with Los Merengues, the left-footed forward has never really managed to replicate his Premier League form.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure was expected to open up the space for the Wales international.
Along with Karim Benzema, Bale was projected as a new leader of the Los Blancos team following Ronaldo’s exit.
However, the former Tottenham man has failed to live up to expectations this season.
Although the 29-year-old registered 14 La Liga starts, his modest record of just four goals and two assists has attracted a host of criticism.
For the first time since arriving in the Iberian Peninsula, Bale has failed to hit the back of the net in ten successive league outings.
His longest goalless run in La Liga lasted from September 1 to December 9 although he played almost every minute in between.
Even after bringing a disastrous streak to an end, Bale has struggled to build on it, disappearing from the scene again.
Also, the managerial change has done a little better to Bale, who has scored just one goal in the domestic championship under the stewardship of Santiago Scolari.
Continuously troubled by injuries, Bale has been out of action in two of Real Madrid’s last three league clashes.
The consequence of Bale’s struggle for the form is that Los Merengues scored just 26 goals in the opening 18 La Liga meetings.
Averaging just 1.44 goals scored per match, Los Blancos are miles away from replicating last year’s success in front of goal.
Without the Portuguese superstar, the reigning European champions look toothless in attack, and that’ where Bale struggled to fit in.
The Welshman should be the answer to Real Madrid’s severe problems in the final third, but he can’t find the right balance.