GARETH BALE will be a leader in the Real Madrid team following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus, according to Steve McManaman.
Ronaldo scored 450 goals in 438 games in all competitions across a nine-year spell in Madrid, but his £99million move to Turin has understandably left a gaping hole.
With Los Blancos’ pursuit of Eden Hazard reportedly in tatters, former Real Madrid winger Steve McManaman believes new Real boss Julen Lopetegui must pinpoint other senior players to step up.
"I think Julen Lopetegui wants Bale to take the role of leader, which Cristiano had,” he told AS.
“It's very difficult, because Cristiano averaged a goal every game. But Bale is a similar type of player; he’s very dynamic.”
The Welshman has enjoyed a successful time in Spain, scoring 88 goals in 189 appearances, along with 10 major trophies.
But in the same breath, McManaman doubted whether the European champions’ current squad can compete with Barcelona, who recently added Malcolm to their attacking arsenal.
“Barcelona won the league last year with a big points advantage,” McManaman said.
“[Real Madrid] has lost one of the best players in the world. Of course they have Bale and [Karim] Benzema, but they need more reinforcements.
"I think it's impossible to get [Kylian] Mbappe, but the newspapers also talk about [Edinson] Cavani, even [Robert] Lewandowski.”