Although unjustly pooh-poohed by the German media, Don Balon has revealed that Gareth Bale has presented Florentino Pérez with a €100 million transfer bid—an offer not from the Premier League, but from Bayern Munich. Both revered British rags the Daily Star and the Mirror Online have confirmed that Bayern are determined to beat Manchester United to Bale’s services as a replacement for birthday boy Arjen Robben.
Here’s why Bayern would break its club and the Bundesliga’s signing record to buy the most expensive Welshman of all time for over €100 million:
Replacing Robben’s injury production
It’s no secret that there are extensive similarities between Bale’s and Robben’s strengths. Both flourish on the right wing, are strong dribblers, and can score directly or provide assists to their teammates. But what really sets both Bale and Robben apart is their elite injury proneness.
Robben has been reliably injured for substantial parts of every season he has played for Bayern. As the time comes for him to move on, Bayern are eager to find another world-class winger who can give them the same injury production.
Gareth Bale vs Arjen Robben: Injury Production
|2004/05||110 days, 19 games (Chelsea)|
|2007/08||35 days, 8 games (Real)|
|2008/09||35 days, 6 games (Real)|
|2009/10||38 days, 5 games (Tottenham)||56 days, 7 games|
|2010/11||88 days, 9 games||155 days, 28 games|
|2011/12||7 days, 1 game||84 days, 16 games|
|2012/13||31 days, 7 games (Real)||95 days, 17 games|
|2013/14||39 days, 5 games||58 days, 14 games|
|2014/15||10 days, 3 games||135 days, 19 games|
|2015/16||73 days, 15 games||166 days, 31 games|
|2016/17||136 days, 29 games (!)||66 days, 6 games|
|2017/18||68 days, 14 games and counting!||73 days, 11 games|
|total:||490 days, 88 games||1068 days, 182 games|
|avg:||54.44 days, 9.78 games/season||76.29 days, 13 games/season|
While Bale’s career numbers pale in comparison to the Dutch master, Bayern’s front office is encouraged by the younger player’s recent seasons. Since 2014, Bale has averaged 71.75 missed days and 15.25 missed games, virtually on par with Robben’s career averages.
Although Robben has missed an average 110 days and astonishing 16.75 games over the same period, Bayern’s club doctor Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfart believes that Bale can still mature to reach similar or even greater output within the next few years, failing to be available for whole seasons at a time and any number of critical knockout Champions League matches.
Globalization: cracking the Welsh market
The move also makes sense for Bayern’s ongoing push to establish a presence in crucial global markets. While Dortmund and Schalke court the USA with budding superstars Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie, Bayern are determined to snatch up Bale to tap into the lucrative Welsh market, which could potentially bring in hundreds of euros in commercial revenue.
Although Renato Sanches’s inconsistent performances with Swansea City have blunted the impact of Bayern’s initial effort to reach Welsh fans, the club remains determined to bring “Mia san mia” - or rather “Yr ydym ni pwy ydym ni” - to the Welsh.
Bayern CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge is reportedly set to announce an “Audi-Amstel Wales Summer Tour 2018.” Participating players will take part in a series of friendly matches against Welsh Premier League clubs including current champions the New Saints, as well as Connah’s Quay Nomads, Aberystwyth, and Cardiff MU.
The players will also participate in a variety of local cultural events including a Dylan Thomas poetry recital, a tour of Swansea’s renowned concrete architecture, and a cross-dressing pub crawl through the glamorous underbelly of Cardiff itself. We can’t wait!
You heard it here first.