Gareth Bale Insists Aaron Ramsey Injury Blow Will Be Manageable for Wales Ahead of Euro Qualifier

?Wales forward Gareth Bale has insisted that his side can cope without Aaron Ramsey after the midfielder was withdrawn from the squad ahead ahead of their Euro 2020 qualifier on Sunday.

Ryan Giggs’ side will take on Slovakia in a Group E clash in which victory could take them level on points with their opponents and closer to the top of the group, with Sunday’s clash the first outing in Wales’ qualifying campaign.


However, Wales will have to overcome their first obstacle without one of their star names, as ?Ramsey has now returned to ?Arsenal for treatment on a thigh injury. ?Bale has been keen to stress that his side can cope without the midfielder.

As quoted by ?ITV, the ?Real Madrid star said: “Obviously it’s a big blow for us. He’s a big player for us and we’ll obviously miss him.

“But it gives someone else a chance to step in and do a good job, and hopefully help the team to a win.

“I am fully fit and ready to go. I am enjoying being here and I am excited for the new campaign.”

Bale has endured a difficult season with Real Madrid, having been jeered by Los Blancos fans following his side’s eliminations from the Champions League and the Copa del Rey, though he scored after being restored to the starting XI by returning boss Zinedine Zidane last weekend.


Injury has also contributed to Bale’s stuttering season, though he has still scored 16 goals for his club this term, and the Welshman added: “I have only had one injury. I have been fine and playing.

“I’ve scored a decent amount of goals and I am raring to go. I want to keep doing as much as I can to help the [Wales] team and so does every player.

“So I certainly don’t feel the pressure to produce. I just want to go out there, give my best for my country, score goals, create goals, defend, whatever I can to help the team.”

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Why Paul Pogba Would Be the Perfect Signing for Real Madrid This Summer

?Real Madrid are in need of a squad overhaul this summer. They have endured a woeful season after three immaculate years under the tutelage of Zinedine Zidane during which they secured a hat-trick of Champions League titles. 

The Frenchman is now back in charge at the Bernabeu after both of his successors – Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari – paid the price for the side’s substandard displays. Despite this, the team requires a revamp. The man they need to front a new look lineup must be inspirational, distinguished and highly skilful; the man they need is Paul Pogba.

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?Madrid have been through one of the darkest periods in their history, crashing out of the ?Champions League at the last 16 stage following a 4-1 humiliation at home to Ajax. That failure compounded a torrid two week spell in which they lost twice to bitter rivals ?Barcelona, those results ensuring it would be a trophy-less year for the 13-time European champions.

With that being the case something must change. They have an ageing, misfiring squad crying out for reinforcements and ?Pogba is the player they should be targeting. 

There are numerous reasons for this, with one of the foremost being his stellar showings for ?Manchester United in recent months. The midfielder may have been distinctly unimpressive towards the start of the campaign, but that was more a reflection of the Red Devils’ overall inadequacies.

Since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s arrival at Old Trafford he has been transformed and now appears to be reaching his full potential.  He has netted nine times in all competitions under the Norwegian, with his ability to dictate proceedings and masterful skill-set exciting those watching on from the stands.

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Madrid would be purchasing a player who is genuinely world class. His displays during France’s World Cup triumph last summer led to countless plaudits and he is now reaching that level on a consistent basis. What’s more, at the age of 26 ?Pogba is coming in to his prime; the Spaniards would be getting the best years out of him.

That he has flourished under Solskjaer is noteworthy given the similarities the 46-year-old has to Zidane. Both are known for their rapport amongst their players, showcasing strong man-management skills and a sympathetic nature. If Solskjaer can get the best out of Pogba, then Zidane should be more than capable, too.

Another motivation for Los Blancos to sign the former ?Juventus player is the role he fulfils in the team. ?Luka Modric, their current playmaker, has been exquisite since arriving from ?Tottenham in 2012, but is now entering the twilight of his career. He received the Golden Ball for his performances for Croatia in Russian, yet mere months later is struggling to rediscover his once-scintillating form.  

Modric is certainly losing his powers and Real have suffered as a consequence. Whilst ?Cristiano Ronaldo was setting new standards in front of goal, it was the midfield maestro who would make the team tick. He is no longer able to carry them on his weary shoulders, with Pogba being the best possible candidate to take on that creative role.

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The Croatian is not the only one nearing the end of his time in the Spanish capital. ?Gareth Bale looks set for a summer switch away following intense criticism from his own supporters, leaving the side somewhat short of ‘Galacticos’. A team as illustrious as Real Madrid are expected to possess numerous players worthy of such a tag to satisfy their swathes of fans across the globe.

As one of the ?Premier League’s most renowned players Pogba certainly fits the billing, with his huge social media following also making him an attractive prospect. The influence he exerts online would be hugely beneficial for the club as they attempt to further expand their supporter base and financial might.

Signing the France international could replicate what Ronaldo’s transfer did for Juve, the Italians seeing both their share price and social media accounts receive a sizeable boost in the wake of the latter’s arrival in Turin.

The final reason why Zidane’s superiors should push for a deal relates to the United man’s mentality and the immense pressure of joining Madrid. Transferring to the Bernabeu brings with it heavy scrutiny, under which many players have wilted.


It takes more than ability to succeed at this prestigious club. One must also have the correct mindset to manage the enormous expectations that becoming a ‘Galactico’ entails. James Rodriguez and Kaka are just a couple of examples of expensive signings who were unable to cope.

Unlike them, Pogba has the demeanour to thrive in such conditions. His World Cup performances, experience of captaining United and confident manner online all demonstrate exactly how well he handles pressure.

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Lucas Vasquez Set to Be Available for Huesca Clash After Recovering From Muscle Injury

?Real Madrid winger Lucas Vasquez is set to be available for Real Madrid’s match against Huesca having recovered from a muscular injury quicker than was previously expected. 

Vasquez suffered the knock in Los Blancos’ humbling 4-1 defeat to Ajax in the last 16 of the Champions League on 5 March but returned to full training this week. 

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Vasquez’s injury meant he was absent from the first ?Real Madrid team that Zinedine Zidane took charge of since returning as manager following the sacking of Santiago Solari. Thankfully for Zidane and Madrid, they returned to winning ways as they brushed aside Celta Vigo 2-0, courtesy of goals from Isco and Gareth Bale. 

Vasquez’s return will be good news for Zidane as he currently has 13 players away on international duty. 

Per ?Marca, full back Dani Carvajal has also returned to first-team training after sustaining an injury against Ajax, though his is more serious than Vasquez’s, meaning he will not feature against Huesca next weekend.

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Real Madrid have performed well below their usual high standards this season, dismissing both Julen Lopetegui and Solari before eventually reappointing the man who left the club at the end of last season after guiding them to three straight Champions League titles. 

Having been humbled by Ajax and spent the entirety of the domestic campaign looking up at the scintillating form of ?Barcelona, it is imperative that Zidane restores some pride into a group of players who looked lost under Lopetegui and Solari. 

Zidane will be hoping to claim all three points against Huesca, as a win could see Los Merengues leapfrog city rivals ?Atletico Madrid into second place in ?La Liga. 

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Paul Pogba & Agent Mino Raiola Looking to Engineer Real Madrid Move Despite Improved Form at Man Utd

?Despite Paul Pogba’s upturn in form since the arrival of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as interim manager in December, a recent report has suggested that the Frenchman is looking to leave this summer, with Real Madrid a possible destination. 

The 26-year-old appeared set for the Old Trafford exit door Jose Mourinho’s time at the club, although rumours of a possible departure were quashed as the Frenchman found form under Solskjaer, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists under the Norwegian. 

Paul Pogba

According to Spanish media outlet ?Marca however, ?Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, are ‘looking for a route out the club’ with Los Blancos thought to be the club he could end up at.

The article claims that the former Juventus man could be the eventual successor to Ballon d’Or winner Luka Modric, who is now 33, although the sticking point is likely to be the fee that Pogba would command.

His move from Juve to ?United in 2016 cost the Premier League side £89m – a world-record fee at the time – and with no sign of a release clause in his contract, the prospect of correctly valuing the World Cup winner is a difficult one in the eyes of ?Real Madrid. 


Pogba, who is currently on international duty for France, did little to talk down the prospect of playing for Los Blancos ?during a recent press conference, suggesting playing for them is a ‘dream for anyone’ while sharing similar views of playing under compatriot Zinedine Zidane, who has returned to the Santiago Bernabeu for his second spell in charge. 

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Gareth Bale: Assessing Why the Forward Should Stay at Real Madrid & Lead Los Blancos’ Resurgence

?In amongst a troubled and testing season for Real Madrid, none within the club have fallen victim of the club’s shortcomings more so than Gareth Bale.

Zinedine Zidane’s departure last summer threw a spanner into the works for the Welshman, as did the increased pressure on Bale’s shoulders from Madrid’s failure to sign a significant accomplice for Bale in attack as Cristiano Ronaldo’s replacement.

The ill-fated and short-lived term of Julen Lopetegui as head coach did little to aid ?Bale’s efforts to step up to the plate, and Santiago Solari’s succession of his compatriot at the helm of ?Madrid was enough to effectively cripple the Welshman’s hopes of a productive season.

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The former Madrid star sought to stamp his authority on the side by axing a number of star names from the team in favour of younger and more industrious replacements such as Vinicius Junior and Sergio Reguilon.

However, Solari’s omissions of the likes of ?Isco, ?Marcelo and ?Marco Asensio cut Madrid short of the quality that was required for the team to meet Los Blancos’ lofty standards.

In particular, the favouring of Lucas Vazquez over Bale on the right flank was a dubious one. The Spaniard has just one goal and three assists to show for his 21 La Liga outings this term, whilst Bale has now scored eight times with only one more appearance.

Of course, a player must prove his value to his team, no matter his status or past successes. However, a top manager must also prove his worth by getting the maximum out of his best players, and both Lopetegui and Solari failed to do so.

Under Zidane, Madrid’s collection of superstars pulled together under the management of a figure with true authority to record an unprecedented hat-trick of Champions League triumphs under the Frenchman between 2016 and 2018 – and Bale was often the star.

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However, the Welshman had come under increased scrutiny from fans and the Spanish press alike, especially after Los Blancos’ recent capitulation at the hands of Ajax in the Champions League. It had seemed that a summer overhaul was an inevitable consequence, in amongst which Bale’s head was on the plate.

However, Zidane’s messiah-like return has brought sudden calmness and optimism to the club, initiated by a 2-0 victory over Celta Vigo in which Bale, Isco, Asensio and Marcelo all returned to the side and, tellingly, two of those four got on the score sheet. Suddenly all does not seem so doom and gloom in Madrid.

Despite a reportedly strained relationship between the pair towards the end of Zidane’s previous tenure, the Frenchman tellingly came out in defence of Bale as one of his first significant acts to steady the ship upon his return to the Bernabeu.

“We all know the player Gareth is. We are ready, he is ready,” Zidane said, as quoted by ?BBC Sport. “I’m not going to talk about Bale’s season, I only talk about the 11 games we have left. I am counting on him like everyone else.

“You do not have to be thinking about who stays or goes, everyone has a contract here, then we will see what happens.”

Whereas Solari gave in to the angry mob of Madridistas and media hounds’ demands by singling Bale out and omitting him from his team, Zidane has boldly opted to rise above the masses and reappoint the Welshman as ‘one of the guys’. And right now, that is exactly the position that Bale needs to be afforded.

Zidane has once again made Madrid a collective, one with an identity and a clear plan with which to move forward. Bale was never the bad apple in the bunch, but rather a star which had not been allowed to shine, and one which had fallen because of misdirection from others in a broken system.

According to Jonathan Barnett, Bale’s agent via ?BBC Sport, the Welshman “wants to play all his career for Real Madrid” – that despite the undue heckling and condemnation that the 29-year-old has been subjected to in what has become a toxic environment in Madrid.

As Zidane continues his efforts to haul Madrid back on track for the remainder of the season, the Frenchman will need leaders and high-calibre stars who can match quality with commitment to the cause.

With a total of 102 goals in 224 appearances for Los Blancos, including crucial goals in two of Madrid’s four Champions League final victories during his time at the club, Bale has already proven to be the kind of leader from the front which the club has often lacked this season.

What has been missing is the leadership qualities of a coach who is capable of wading through the media hype, taking criticism of the team onto their own shoulders and affording their players a clear platform on which to perform.

Zidane has already proven that he is ready and willing to take on that mantle once more and in that sense the Frenchman’s arrival can only spell good news for Bale. The Welshman started and scored in Zidane’s first game since returning as head coach against Celta Vigo, and there is surely only more to come.

Though speculation will surely continue to mount over Bale’s future in the coming months, it would cost a significant chunk of Madrid’s transfer budget to replace the attacker, in addition to the other reinforcements which are required.

With Bale still of interest to other elite sides on the continent, including ?Manchester United, and with the likes of ?Eden Hazard set to prove difficult to acquire, Madrid already have one of Europe’s foremost and established attacking talents on their hands.

The Welshman is on the cusp of legendary status at the Bernabeu and Madrid are in great need of the quality that he is capable of delivering.

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A return to the Premier League would only be a step backwards for Bale in terms of his legacy, and the cementing of his status in Madrid folklore as one of the club’s modern greats would be a far more telling and sufficiently triumphant way to conclude his decorated career.

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