Manchester United are expected to splash the cash in the 2015 summer transfer window. The already cash-rich club have received an £100 million boost due to qualification in the Champions League and the net benefit of replacing Nike with Adidas as the kit sponsors. Reports in the media have surfaced that if Gareth Bale is interested in a move out of the Santiago Bernabeu, Louis Van Gaal would be ready to agree to Madrid’s demand of what could be a world record in football transfers.
However, spending loads of money and spending it prudently are different. Is Bale really the missing element in United’s squad to deserve such a massive transfer fee? We explore the reasons why United would be better off not spending large sums of money on the Welsh winger.
United don’t need another wide attacking midfielder: With Ashley Young in the form of his life and the potential of Adnan Januzaj and Angel Di Maria, another wide player is not the most pressing of concerns for Louis van Gaal. United would rather bolster certain other areas of their squad, like a good center back, a potent right back and additional steel to their central midfield.
The money spent to buy Bale can be better spent elsewhere: If the immediate goal for Van Gaal is to challenge for the 2015-16 Premiership and the Uefa Champions League, then he needs to paper over the current shortcomings in his team. By his own admission, Van Gaal has said United would be back next season “with another squad”. Naturally, if the intent is to buy quality all over the pitch, the most prudent way to go about it is not to spend the entire transfer war chest on one expensive target.
No resale value: If the transfer happens and Bale joins the Red Devils in the beginning of 2015-16 season, he will be 26 years old by that time. In modern football, that’s not an age where you look to keep a player for 3-4 years and then cash in on another mega transfer. Unless he remains a club loyalist, he has to move out of the squad around the age of 30, and United will have quite the hard time in finding suitors to whom they can sell the Welshman at a profit.
Bale is hardly the “one”, rather a very good support cast: When you spend £100 million on a single player, you would want to buy a silver bullet, the panacea to all the shortcomings that United have at present. Bale is hardly the man to lead the line and inspire the club to greater glory, he is not in the mould of a Ronaldo or Messi, or even someone like a Hazard or Rooney. A fantastic footballer in his own right, Bale can be a very good support cast – partly due to his position on the pitch.
Availability of cheaper alternatives: If at all United need a player who can terrorise defences from wide areas, they need not break the bank for the Welshman. They can rather go for young talented wingers like Memphis Depay or Marco Reus who won’t cost even a quarter of the amount touted to be the potential transfer fee of Bale. Additionally, once these players realise their potential, United can sell them at a hefty profit (just in case clubs like Madrid want to add another galactico in their ranks).