Ex England cricketer and Talk Sport presenter Darren Gough has been speculating about the outcome if Gareth Bale went to Manchester United. United lost out to Tottenham when Bale left Southampton as a leggy teenager but Gough reckons that he would now be tailor made for Manchester United and that, if they did sign him this summer, that The Red Devils would ‘have it (The Premier League) sewn up for the next three years’.
It’s a fair point. If Manchester United could sign Bale and, insodoing, keep him from the clutches of Spain’s elite, he would provide the natural width that Manchester United have lacked in the last few years. But with Ronaldo scoring his own brace in El Classico last night, is Bale anywhere near the Portuguese?
Ronaldo – He’s played almost 200 hundred games for Real Madrid since leaving Manchester United in 2009 and scored at an unbelievable rate of more than a goal a game. While some initially felt that he was too selfish a player, those doubts soon dissolved as Ronaldo went on to become one of Real’s all time great talismen. He has won so many games for his club and, perhaps most impressively, he’s scored in his last 6 outings against Barcelona. After suffering a seemingly impenetrable gulf for the last 4 years, Real Madrid finally have someone who can hurt Barcelona. Someone who the Catalans just can’t deal with. Someone to compare with the inhuman Lionel Messi. Ronaldo is also one of the most two-footed players you will see. Consequently, he now plays on the left where he can get to the byline and put in great crosses or cut in and unleash that howitzer of a right foot. At 28 he’s no spring chicken but is still lightning quick. Also brilliant in the air, as he once again demonstrated against Manchester United, in The Champions League. Recent speculation has suggested that he may leave Real for £55m. RATING – If Messi is the benchmark 10, as the best player ever, then Ronaldo deserves a 9.5 and would win every personal accolade going if only he hadn’t been playing at the same time as his great rival.
Gareth Bale – Would probably cost £10m less than Ronnie and, at 23, he would also have a great sell on value. He’s a natural left footer of the sort that Manchester have lacked since Ryan Giggs got too slow for the wing. Some feel that he may be an even better fit for Manchester United for this reason. In the last few years right footers such as Ji Sung Park, Ashley Young and Nani have played there, but none have really distinguished themselves. Manchester United play with as much width as any team in The EPL and with a left footer on the left wing, to complement Valencia on the right, the Red Devils would be a very frightening prospect indeed. Bale is getting better week on week in front of our very eyes. He has 15 league goals (19 in all) this season but you can see that he has only recently realised that he can score pretty much at will. So expect that tally to rise sharply this and next season. He reminds many of his Welsh colleague Ryan Giggs, but is perhaps physically stronger and certainly has a better shot on him, as his recent belters amply illustrate. He goes past defenders like they aren’t there and always looks to have so much time on the ball. If he keeps his head down he will be regarded as one of the all time greats and, even at 23, he looks to have completely mastered the game. What a future this lad has. RATING – 8.5, at the moment. If he wants to reach the levels of the other two best in the world then he needs to be scoring this regularly but over a longer period of time.
So who would you prefer to sign at this moment, given £50m? Bale or Ronaldo