Former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere has warned the Premier League club against signing Gareth Bale, believing he wouldn’t get into their starting XI.
Bale is currently a free agent after leaving Real Madrid at the end of his contract, bringing his eight-year association with Los Blancos to a close.
Despite falling out with fans towards the end of his time in Spain, which included a year back at Tottenham Hotspur on loan, Bale will leave Real Madrid as one of the most successful players in the club’s recent history on trophies won.
In his eight years in Madrid, Bale won five Champions Leagues, three La Ligas, four Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups, one Copa del Rey and three Spanish Super Cups. He also contributed to a number of those wins, including goals in two Champions League finals and a Copa del Rey final.
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Bale will now want to work quickly to find a new club for the 2022/23 season as he looks to prepare for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this winter, having helped Wales secure qualification in June. The former Tottenham man is Wales captain and will look to lead the first Dragons team out at a World Cup in 64 years.
Among those linked with a move for Bale are Welsh side Cardiff City, and the 32-year-old hasn’t completely ruled out a drop down to the Championship, even commenting that there wouldn’t be a drop in quality.
Getafe were also early favourites with the Spanish club’s president claiming Bale had offered to play for them, but a move to MLS could also be on the cards should the Welshman want to hit the ground running.
However, one potential destination that appears to be off the cards is Arsenal, at least if Wilshere gets his way.
Asked if he would take Bale at Arsenal, Wilshere told talkSport: “No.
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“I look at the players who would be playing in that position and they’re young players who have arguably been Arsenal’s best players over the last few years.
“So one, I don’t think he gets a game. And if he does, I think he’d be holding one of those players back.”
Mikel Arteta is currently building a good team of young players at Arsenal including academy graduates Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe, who will both be looking to play crucial roles this season to build on their impressive 2021/22 campaigns.
Both Saka and Smith Rowe ended the 2021/22 league season on double figures for goals, netting 11 and 10 respectively, the first time Arsenal have had two under-21 players score 10+ goals in Premier League history. Saka also had a joint-club high seven assists, being directly involved in more goals than any other Arsenal player.