Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he regrets not signing Gareth Bale from Southampton when he had the chance, Sky
Wenger was monitoring both Bale and Theo Walcott and signed the latter player 18 months before Bale moved to White Hart Lane. At the time Bale left the Saints, Wenger was content with the left-backs he had at his disposal, and did not envisage the change in Bale once he moved into midfield.
“We didn’t take him as we had Ashley Cole and Gael Clichy and didn’t want another left-back,” Wenger told Al Jazeera Sport.
“I must confess it was a huge mistake as he can play in midfield. He struggled at the start at Tottenham, then they moved him to midfield and he has done exceptionally well. The career of a player sometimes depends on playing in the right position.”
Wenger now feels Bale could force himself into the bracket of the world’s best players – alongside Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo – if he can match their standards of fitness and reliability.
“He has the potential. Now it depends on his consistency at the top level and injuries,” Wenger said.
“If you look at Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi – the two head figures of world football – they have fantastic health and don’t miss a game. Bale has power, pace and direct play in his game.
“I still think he is a typical flank player and they are so difficult to find. I think he is too young to move to the middle.”
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