Hold on your horses, the Daily Mail are reporting that Pep Guardiola has decided the alleged £100 million transfer war-chest Bayern Munich are going to hand him in the summer is best spent on Welsh phenomenon Gareth Bale.
Despite the Bavarian team being in sensational form domestically and looking forward to a Champions League game against Arsenal where they are 1/4 to go through to the quarter-finals; focus has been on how Pep will alter this team and perhaps alter the landscape of European football. Here’s a look at why he wants Bale to help him.
Adding a cutting edge
Bale began his career as a rampaging left-back, able to bomb up and down the flank thanks to his outstanding stamina built from years of cross-country running. While his talent set has been evident for a while, this season he has added a real edge to his game in terms of offensive output. Hard work on his shooting on the training ground has been a huge part of that as he hits the target with 58% of his efforts.
While his accuracy is excellent, his actual chance conversion may need some work if he is to hit stratospheric levels of stardom.
Much of this is due to his starting position out wide. Wider shots are statistically much less likely to go in but if his hero Ronaldo can do it….
Bale is probably one of the best athletes in football, devastatingly quick over 15 and 50 yards as well as incredibly strong, something he has obviously worked on during the summer. This shows in his tackle success but not in his aerial duel work.
Bale also plays more forward passes than virtually any other winger in the Premier League, showing his intent to get forward. Bale also creates very well; 50 goalscoring opportunities have been laid on for his team mates by the Welshman.
Overall it seems Gareth is nearer to the finished superstar article than most may think. The key aspect is consistency, something which generally comes with experience and Bale has time on his side. Whether Guardiola really thinks he can recreate this form on a game-by-game basis remains in doubt.