Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane wants to see Gareth Bale contributing regularly on the playing field after recovering from a recurring calf problem. The Wales international has been sidelined twice this season due to the injury, and this has restricted him to just four starts in the Spanish top-flight.
Bale made his much-awaited return during the Copa del Rey round of 16 first-leg versus Numancia, and he found the scoresheet via a spot-kick in a 3-0 win. Following the game, Zidane was pleased to have the Welshman back in the ranks, and he is hoping to see the attacker play a regular role during the second half of the campaign.
He said: “It was important to see how [Bale] felt. In the end he played an hour, without problems, feeling physically well. He had played four games with 20 or 30 minutes [off the bench], this was his first start. So we will continue like this. We want him to play regularly now.”
The match versus Numancia was their first since the 3-0 El Clasico defeat at Barcelona, and Zidane was relieved to have come up with a positive result despite playing a team consisting of several reserve players, he added: “I am very happy as we got a good result in the end. This was not an easy place to come, they have been playing well and made it tough for us, but we got a good result. Many of these are players who do not play so often.”
Bale’s future has been a topic of speculation over the past couple of months with the likes of Manchester United and ex-club Tottenham Hotspur said to be interested in his services. Despite this, Zidane has generally talked positively about his injury-plagued attacker, and he remains confident that Bale can turn his fortunes around in the near future.
A recent report from Don Balon has suggested that Bale could be one of the player’s sacrificed to pursue the services of Tottenham Hotspur marksman Harry Kane at the end of the season.