Every time Welshman Gareth Bale steps out of the shadows and into the lights of the Bernabeu, it is like witnessing a new signing for Real Madrid fans around the world.
Since joining the Spanish giants in 2013 for a record transfer fee of £85.3million from Tottenham, Gareth Bale has had a multitude of set backs halting his progress.
Incredibly, in only six seasons, Bale has now had 18 injuries with his latest coming in Real Madrid’s most recent 2-2 draw with Villarreal where he was taken off at half time by manager Santiago Solari, who confirmed a calf problem.
This will be his sixth calf issue whilst in Spain, and his last problem of this nature saw him ruled out for 11 days in the 2017/18 season.
Across the five previous calf related problems, Bale has missed a total of 29 games which accumulates to being away from first-team action for 140 days.
Bale has featured in 23 games this season for Real Madrid being directly involved in 14 goals in all competitions – 10 goals and 4 assists.
Now 29, Bale’s most consistent injury free season domestically in Spain came in the 2014/15 where he managed to make 31 league appearances under Carlo Ancelotti as Real finished second, two points behind rivals Barcelona.
His only injury that campaign was a hamstring issue that saw the winger sidelined for 10 days until the end of October, missing a total of three games.
Games Bale missed included a Champions League group game against Liverpool at Anfield as well as the first El Clasico of the season.
In the words of Spanish Football Reporter Guillem Balague these were ‘the Spanish giants two biggest games of the season so far.’
Pulling all the statistics out, Bale has made 212 appearances for Real Madrid and scored 98 goals in that time.
That works out that so far it has cost Real £402,000 per game he has played and £870,000 per goal he has scored.
It is not known how long the winger will be out for this time round, but Solari will hope that Bale will be fit for important games at home to Sevilla on the 19th January or in time for their trip to the Johan Cruijff Arena to face Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League.
As it stands, Real Madrid are fourth in the table, seven points behind league leaders Barcelona and four points behind city rivals, Atletico Madrid in second.
Coincidentally, Solari’s side have conceded the most goals out of all top nine sides in the league, which includes Deportivo Alaves, Real Betis and Getafe.
Another issue is that Real Madrid have failed to replace the goals of Cristiano Ronaldo, who moved to Juventus in the summer, a void that Bale was encouraged to fill going into the season.
It is concerning times for anyone associated with Real Madrid, including Bale himself who still has a lot to prove in Spain.
He will be dreaming of a quick recovery to ensure he doesn’t add too many fixtures to his missing list, currently at 66 games, averaging just over 10 games per season missed through injury.
Latest Transfer News
A Sarri season
Five reasons why Chelsea's season has been disappointing so far
Watch Man City stewards mistake Mendy for a pitch invader after Liverpool win
Arsenal could add to this incredible list of Juventus free transfers
Bournemouth eyeing £15m move for Liverpool striker
All the info
FA Cup fourth round draw: When is it? Where can I watch it?
Liverpool badly missed Joe Gomez against Man City, says ex-Reds star Danny Murphy
Bournemouth 'agree deal' to sign Clyne from Liverpool until end of season
ON HIS WAY
Serie A side could offer Valencia a way out of Manchester United
Why Neil Warnock once let his wife pick the starting XI
Meet Chelsea target Hirving Lozano, the PSV winger who lit up the World Cup
Defoe 'can't wait' for Rangers bow as Redknapp backs him to score plenty
Newcastle want experienced maverick forward to boost survival bid