All things considered, while many of us may have complained about Manchester United transfer policy in recent years, sometimes, the club actually does appear to make sensible decisions. One of them was not to proceed with a proposed move for Gareth Bale, who instead left Real Madrid last summer for a loan deal with Tottenham Hotspur.
The doubtful football focus of Bale
If there’s one thing we have learned about Bale over the last few years, it’s the fact that he seems happier on the golf course than inside a football stadium. Whenever the cameras pan on the Welshman during matches, unable to play because of some niggling injury or other, he’s usually watching something on his phone. Rather than paying much attention to what’s happening on the pitch, his focus is elsewhere.
Gareth Bale plays golf whilst Madrid lose. 🏌️♂️
Spanish tabloid @elconfidencial snapped this image of of the Welsh attacker who was reportedly "unwell" whilst his Real Madrid side lost to Tottenham in the AUDI Cup.#Bale #RealMadrid #OptusSport pic.twitter.com/JhVCyA90UG
— Optus Sport (@OptusSport) July 31, 2019
He’s openly admitted that he would love to be a professional golfer and that his idol is American Dustin Johnson, who for those who bet the best golf odds is 9/1 to win the US Masters this year. In fact, Bale spends so much time on the fairways and greens, he was nicknamed ‘The Golfer’ by his teammates at Real Madrid.
Ahead of one game with the Spanish giants away at Levante in 2019, Bale was so engrossed watching live golf on his phone, there was no acknowledgement of gathered fans or journalists as he entered the stadium. Later that year and with Bale apparently “unwell” for a pre-season Audi Cup game, at the very same time Real Madrid were losing against Tottenham, he was photographed on a golf course.
Cavani was always the better option
Although there’s no doubt that when in top form, Bale is a magnificent player, moving to Manchester United really wouldn’t have been a good move for either party. At least when Odion Ighalo joined the Red Devils on loan, he was achieving a lifelong ambition, prepared to bust a gut during every minute he was blessed enough to wear the shirt. He was a fan, he wanted to be here, and such passion is priceless.
Orgulloso de vestir esta camiseta 🤝 @ManUtd
Proud to wear this shirt 🤝 @ManUtd pic.twitter.com/G51hf24neH
— Edi Cavani Official (@ECavaniOfficial) March 10, 2021
In that regard, United certainly dodged a bullet by looking at other transfer targets, rather than continue any pursuit of Bale. Instead, the Old Trafford hierarchy turned attention towards Edinson Cavani, and for the most part, his arrival has been a resounding success. The Uruguayan came on a free transfer and is a joy to watch when fully fit.
The 34-year-old striker is an influential player, both on and off the pitch. Someone who can change the course of a game, whilst also offering the kind of determination and focus that younger players can look up to. Cavani may be reaching the twilight of his professional career, yet there’s absolutely no doubting his hunger for football, which is undoubtedly something that Bale is unable to claim.
Bale rumours no longer matter
Some transfer gossip columns insist Bale might still be an option for Manchester United in the summer. They probably didn’t notice, but much better and younger prospects have since been signed. While 19-year-old Facundo Pellistri is out gaining experience on loan in Spain, 18-year-old Amad Diallo is busy making an exciting impact, after joining from Atalanta.
They are the future at United, so let’s forget about signing a golfer who doesn’t really like football anyway.