Paul Scholes has explained why Manchester United shouldn’t bid for Gareth Bale this summer, pointing towards the Welshman’s susceptibility to injury as a reason to avoid splashing out on his signature.
Jose Mourinho noted prior to Man United’s UEFA Super Cup clash with Real Madrid that he would battle to sign Bale if he was surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu.
But the Portuguese, soon after Bale started for Madrid and starred in a 2-1 win, noted that the winger was clearly in Zinedine Zidane’s plans and would not as a result look to sign him.
And Scholes, speaking on BT Sport, noted that United shouldn’t break the bank for a player prone to missing large portions of a season.
“The lad has got amazing talent, we know that. He’s got a brilliant physique, he’s quick, he’s strong and he should be right up there with (Cristiano) Ronaldo,” he said.
“But the reason he’s not at the minute is that the lad just can’t stay fit.
“I can’t remember the last time he played a full season. He misses so much football it’s untrue and when you think of Ronaldo and Messi, they play every week.
“They’ve played every week for the last 10 years. If Gareth’s going to get to that level he needs to just stay fit.”
Perhaps after a summer away from football I haven’t had time to grow morbidly irate at his pessimistic tones, but Scholes has a point here.
Bale, ever since arriving at the Bernabeu in 2013, has missed a total of 79 games – an average of 19 a season. In other words, his record is concomitant with somebody only being able to play half of a Premier League season every year.
And such a record – which isn’t entirely Bale’s fault, but rather just the way things are – would only be exacerbated in the Premier League, you sense, and Mourinho ought to be reluctant over taking injury prone players under his wing following last season’s endless spiral of players ending up on the treatment table.