Gareth Bale: The hero that Manchester United do not need
There is no doubt that Gareth Bale is a fantastic player, maybe even one of the best in the world and as soon as he hinted that he may be open to leaving Real Madrid this summer he was linked with a move to Manchester United. United have been long-time admirers of the Welshman, even courting him last summer.
They also are probably one of the few clubs who could afford the transfer fee and the wages he would demand. The move makes sense to a lot of people, but is it really what Manchester United needs? Estimates state that the complete fee for this transfer, including his wages would be around £200m which would make a big dent in any other plans United would have for transfers this summer. Yes, Bale would be an excellent player for United but that money could be used to buy 3-4 excellent players with an eye on the future for the club.
By the time the next season starts, Bale would be 29 years old, so it wouldn't really be a signing for the future or keeping the next few years in mind like Pogba was. He would have to hit the ground running and make an instant impact for his fees to be justified. Also, given his recent injury record, it would be a bit of a gamble for United and an expensive one at that.
His arrival would raise important questions such as where does Alexis Sanchez play because both prefer to play from the left and what about Anthony Martial, surely it would be the end of his time at the club. Many United fans would rather see Martial fulfill his potential than see him go to another club. United already have excellent players in the same position which Bale plays, they need to strengthen in other areas such as defence and the signings of Dalot and Fred seem to be in the right direction for the club. Surely, the money can be used to buy a couple of more excellent players in the required positions.
Most importantly, this was never the United way. Manchester United was always known for signing players with great potential and making them realize it. The new transfer policy of throwing money and buying superstars hasn't really worked out for them look at DI Maria for example. It's not that United didn't spend money before they did, but it was always with an eye on the future except maybe in the case Van Persie.
Manchester United has a good core; all they need is to strengthen that with some smart signings and not disrupt it with another superstar addition to the team. Bale may well work out for United, but it is a risk and short-sighted at best, It will also be at the cost of the ethos of Manchester United which is developing and integrating young talent into the team.
What most United fans would love to see is a couple of young, exciting players along with the players from the academy develop into world-class players while they could still call them one of their own after all that was always the Manchester United way.