In his latest reporter’s notebook, Sky Sports News’ Jarent Hughes reveals why moving Gareth Bale to MLS Los Angeles is good for everyone involved …
While Bale’s transfer to the United States may come as a surprise to some. For those in the Welsh organization, this will not be a shock.
During Bale’s last international camp, Rob Page and everyone else in the organization were asked about a potential transfer to Cardiff City. They did not ignore the chance, but they were also just polite and respectful.
It would be a huge risk for Bale to take even a short contract to play in the Championship, the risk of being injured either due to a wrong grip or just the wear and tear of one of the toughest championships in the world was, in my opinion, never on the cards.
Take the emotions out of Bale’s game for Cardiff City before the World Cup and it didn’t become too much of an opportunity.
Even before rumors of a move to Cardiff City began to pick up speed, a transfer to MLS was already being discussed. Bale must strike the balance of the game, adhere to the match, while reducing the risk of injury, and MLS must ensure that balance.
It also gives Bale the perfect environment to get in the right shape to lead Wales to the World Cup in November. The weather climate in California will be ideal, but it is also an ideal climate for him and his family to live and work with some degree of anonymity. The irony of working for a club in Los Angeles, a city where show business reigns supreme, is that not too many people will bother Bale or even know who he is. He will be glad not to be the center of attention.
Bale was adamant during interviews with him during the last international campaign that any decision he makes about his career at the football club will be the best for him, his wife and his family. They were at the front and at the center of every decision he made.
From the point of view of Wales and Paige, this is a really good result. Bale’s workload is manageable, but it will also increase his form before the World Cup. Wales has long had full confidence in Bale’s ability to control his own body; The 32-year-old is a fantastic athlete, no matter what you may have read or heard about his fitness.
He leads an absurdly healthy lifestyle, is vegan and sober, and at the same time a natural athlete. He has natural athletic abilities since his early school years and this has not changed in his long professional football career, so nothing will change on this front between now and the World Cup.
Going to MLS also allows Bale to be able to dictate how he trains and how he plays. It would always be a difficult discussion either with a Premier League club or with another top-class European club.
For Wales, this is a major piece of the puzzle, arranged before the World Cup, but there are many players that Paige would like to play in regular club football until Qatar 2022 in November.
Aaron Ramsey is just one player who needs clarity on where he will play at the beginning of the season, but he is not alone. Many Wales players have not had regular time to play with their clubs and with the World Cup group stage matches, which come every four days, which can be difficult to manage.
Earnshaw: Good move for Bale MLS will love it
Former Wales international Robert Earnshaw at Sky Sports News:
“I think he chose the best club he could go to in MLS. They are currently at the top of the league, so this is great news. I’m down the road, so if he needs help, I can help him!
“It’s a great move for him. He has to play for the World Cup in a few months and is also in season. He didn’t spend much time playing last season for Real Madrid, now he has stayed there, so he is a new head.
“We will see a new Bale in another country, MLS. A few weeks ago, I thought there was a chance. Knowing him and playing with him, understanding his mentality, I think I will like him.
“I was at LAFC a few weeks ago and the atmosphere there is amazing, the fans are amazing, a really good stadium and he will like it there.
“Every place he goes will be competitive. He will find it a challenge, it will not be easy for him, because this is a fast league from end to end and you have to be in shape. This will give him the shape he needs.
“MLS will be happy to have him. He will bring all his skills and I think he will do very well.”