Following season after season of constant rumours, gossip and hearsay both Gareth Bale and Neymar Jr have completed summer transfers to Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively. But who will come out on top and become the signing of the season in the Spanish league?
Many believe that the purchase of Neymar is one of the main reasons behind Real Madrid president Florentino Perez’s commitment to the chase of Tottenham winger Bale, and finally the Welshman has completed his move to the Spanish Capital for a reported World record fee of 85.6million. In comparison to the Bale saga, Neymar’s transition to Spanish football has been relatively quiet. After a drawn out period in which many believed his future lay at the Nou Camp, Neymar finally signed for 48.6million euros, making him the 10th most expensive player in history. The fact that the two biggest clubs in Spain have signed a marquee signing is as far as the comparison goes. Neymar and Bale are extremely different players and will be utilised in extremely different ways.
Neymar has taken the first few weeks of the season to find his feet in The Spanish league but seems to be settling in on the left side of Barcelona’s three pronged attack. Neymar will likely play second fiddle to Lionel Messi in the near future, and will look to learn from the greatest player in the world. This will not stop Neymar from showcasing his limitless talent however, and I believe Neymar will have an extremely good season for the Catalan giants. In five games, Neymar has made just two starts, due mainly to the revelation that the Samba star has a blood disorder. I believe that this will prove to be a transition year for the player, but eventually he will go on to become the best player in the world when Messi enters the twilight of his career.
In comparison, I believe Gareth Bale will hit the ground running at Real Madrid, but will not reach the dizzy heights of his Brazilian counterpart. With Cristiano Ronaldo operating on the left wing, Gareth Bale is the perfect individual to provide a similar type of performance from the right. In the same way as Ronaldo, Bale will be able to pick up the ball on the right, terrorise his fullback whilst being able to cut in and shoot. Bale will offer a further option with free kicks, but Ronaldo will be keen to prove he is still the top dog. On so many occasions last season for Tottenham Bale was able to score spectacular goals from the position. Gareth Bale will need time to shine, just as Luka Modric has begun to after a year at the club. Generally, Ronaldo operates from the left or through the centre, but if the manager desires it the two can switch and play on the opposite wings. Gareth Bale has already stated that he is there to help Ronaldo continue to be the best player in the world in his opinion, not to become the new star at Real. Bale will have to take the backseat at first. Bale will be made to bide his time before he too like Neymar is able to become the natural successor to The Portugal captain.
Overall, I believe in the long term Neymar will create the greater legacy at his new club. Gareth Bale will do extremely well, but in the shadow of the egotistical Ronaldo he may find it difficult to reach the dizzy heights of last season. Neymar may have the quieter first season, but I believe that Gareth Bale’s long term future is not in Spain. Many believe that Ronaldo will one day return to Manchester United, but I believe it will be Bale who eventually makes that move.