Why Carvajal Could Be Key to Bale's Progress at Real Madrid
The goal came in the 38th minute of Saturday’s contest between Madrid and Villarreal at El Madrigal.
Carvajal timed his run expertly to connect with a Luka Modric pass that found its way past four opposing players. He raced down the right side of the goalmouth before playing an inch-perfect cross to Bale, who stabbed the ball into the back of the net to open his Madrid account.
Bale, the €100 million transfer window capture, had not been expected to start against the Yellow Submarine. His contributions were few but his impact was enormous—and Carvajal was largely to thank.
“Bale is very fast and he likes having space to run into,” said the right-back, “but he also has the quality needed to drift inside and leave me space to go forward.”
Which is exactly what happened in the run-up to the goal.
And while Bale’s progress at the Bernabeu will be one of the determining factors in whatever success Madrid enjoy this season, Carvajal’s involvement will be an important element in the cause as well.
He has the ability to make the Welshman’s adaptation to Spanish football decidedly smoother. Because of his position, could address a weakness that has plagued Madrid for years.
Despite a star-studded squad and seemingly limitless spending ability, the Meringues have struggled to get consistently high-level performances out of their right-backs for some time.
Bale with a tap-in to open his account. Carvajal does all the work, Bale's in the right spot.— AS English (@English_AS) September 14, 2013
Alvaro Arbeloa—injured on Saturday but expected to start in the Champions League against Galatasaray—has held down the job since his arrival at the club in 2009. But last season he was often dropped on numerous occasions by then-manager Jose Mourinho. At 30-years of age his best, quickest days are already behind him.
Not that he was ever a truly elite full-back in the first place.
At 21 he has speed Arbeloa simply can’t match, and his natural defensive instincts are considerably better than his teammate’s.
And he “understands” the most expensive player in the world—a player Madrid have staked their future on.
If Carvajal can continue forging a relationship with Bale, and if his natural ability convinces manager Carlo Ancelotti to start him ahead of Arbeloa, Madrid will be better for it.
The €6.5 million they spent to repatriate him will end up as one of the best signings of the summer.
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