The 2016-17 season has started quite successfully for Real Madrid across all competitions thus far. Los Blancos are on top of the La Liga standings and have qualified for the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League.
Along the way, Zinedine Zidane’s side have remained unbeaten in 35 consecutive matches.
But the club was hit with a difficult situation following Gareth Bale’s injury. The talented Welsh winger is expected to sit out the next three months due to an ankle injury.
Reports this week suggest that he may be ahead of schedule, but it is certainly risky to speculate at this point.
Holding a decent lead over their fierce rivals Barcelona in La Liga and awaiting their opponents in the knockout round of the Champions League, Real Madrid are in a position where they may feel comfortable with their line-up until Bale returns.
While the club may not have an exact replacement for Bale’s pace and skill, Madrid’s squad depth should see them weather whatever storm may be upon them as Bale recuperates on the sidelines.
We take a look at reasons why Real Madrid will not only be able to cope with the loss of Gareth Bale but will be able to succeed until he returns in 2017.
While Real Madrid may miss Gareth Bale on one side of Zidane’s 4-3-3 formation, they will more than be able to make up for it at the other end with Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
Coming off his own injury suffered at Euro 2016 with Portugal, Ronaldo has begun to display his breath-taking skills once more and seems to be at an optimal fitness level.
Along with strikers Karim Benzema and Alvaro Morata, the high-powered Real Madrid attack will continue to wreak havoc on opposing defences.
The emergence of Lucas Vazquez
Real Madrid youth product Lucas Vazquez has seen his form improve year after year and appears ready to be a consistent part of the front-line.
The 25-year old Spanish international has played a key role in recent matches after taking over Bale’s spot. His pace and passing ability have helped to complement Madrid’s cohesion in the attacking third further.
Along with Marco Asensio, Zinedine Zidane has an abundance of young talent to utilise in Bale’s absence.
An impressive midfield
Even during difficult times for Real Madrid, the club can count on their extremely effective midfielders to control a match and keep meaningful possession.
Casemiro is one of the best defensive midfielders in Spain, while James Rodriguez and Isco both bring electric pace and skill to the team.
Luka Modric’s passing and free-kicks can change the course of a match in an instant, while fellow Croatian international Mateo Kovacic continues to develop into a world-class talent.
The Real Madrid defence is a tremendous asset as well. Marcelo, Sergio Ramos and Raphael Varane are all capable of clearing out the opposing side’s scoring opportunities and can provide goals of their own.
Gareth Bale is one of the most talented footballers in the world, and he will certainly be missed in the Real Madrid line-up for the next few months. But the club has the personnel and ability to continue their spectacular run until he returns.