Ben Steinlauf: Gareth Bale’s big move to Madrid

Is he worth it?

That is the $135,881,010 question that Real Madrid and football fans around the world have been asking since Gareth Bale’s world record transfer fee of £85,300,000 to Bernabéu Stadium on September 1. This was a great deal for Tottenham (Bale’s former team) to accept, which spent only £7,000,000 on the Welshman when he was lured from Southampton over six years ago. But the trade has yet to prove itself a good buy for Los Blancos.

After a nostalgic summer for the Spurs, the organization could no longer hold onto Bale. The loss had been hinted at since July, when the club began their transfer window splurge. To my own dismay as a Tottenham supporter, as well as the disappointment of thousands of other North Londoners, Bale’s time as a Spur had come even before the season had begun.

But one should not look past Tottenham’s effort to make up for their huge loss, in which they captured almost ten players, the majority of them holding world-class potential. Sadly, Tottenham’s offensive troubles are becoming more and more prevalent, as they fell from top three in the Premier League to below fifth after their loss this past weekend. On the flip side of things, it seems like Gareth Bale’s woes at Madrid are finally coming to an end, and the Welshman will soon be back to his dazzling performances that won him both PFA awards last year: Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year.

The entire world was ready to see “Bale” printed across the Madrid whites atop number 11 following a grueling summer of uncertainty. Bale had ruled himself out of the Spurs team due to an injury he picked up while still on a contract with the club in August, so upon arriving in Madrid, his last full match of competitive football had been not since the previous Premier League season with Tottenham. It would be at least a week before he was put on display for Madrid to ensure his match fitness.

On September 22, after playing parts of Madrid’s two previous away matches, and even scoring in his debut, Gareth Bale was ready to make his first home appearance at the Bernabéu. But it would not be so; Bale limped off the field during warm-ups, and the world’s football fanatics would wait another week to see the most expensive player in professional football showcase his talents at his new home.

The little amount of playing time that Bale received in his first month at the Bernabéu angered many football fans, and the question  “Is he worth it?” began to take a firm hold. This season had originally been expected to be the beginning of a phenomenal career for the Welsh speedster, and doubts of Bale’s potential flowed in and out of the city and around the world.

That is, until he truly made his mark on the club in their 7-3 win over Sevilla. Bale finally put his left-footed stamp on the famous club with a jaw-dropping finish from inside the penalty box, and now the world knows what to expect. Six days later, against Juventus in the Champions League, Bale followed his attacking counterpart Cristiano Ronaldo, when they scored back to back goals, five minutes apart from each other, giving Madrid a 2-1 lead. Any Spurs fan would describe the goal as “Vintage Bale–” using his speed and footwork to deceive the defender, he fired a venomous shot near post past arguably the world’s best goalkeeper.

The match finished 2-2, but Madrid fans should be pleased with the chemistry of Bale and Ronaldo that previewed during the match. Their on-field rapport can only get better.

Only two months have passed since Bale’s move to Madrid, and he still has yet to reach his top form of the 2012/2013 season. I know it, and the rest of the world knows it: Bale’s breakout is coming soon, and when it does, every team should be terrified. The surge of the flying Welshman could be the little push that Los Blancos need to secure multiple trophies this season.