Real Madrid vs Alaves - Zinedine Zidane keen to highlight Gareth Bale’s value to Real Madrid



Posted Friday, February 23, 2018 by PA

Real Madrid vs Alaves - Zinedine Zidane keen to highlight Gareth Bale’s value to Real Madrid

Zinedine Zidane insists Gareth Bale “will always be important” to Real Madrid, despite leaving him out of three of the last four matches.

Bale was again omitted for Wednesday’s 3-1 LaLiga win at Leganes, coming on for only the final 14 minutes.

Reports in Spain claimed after the game that Bale has “run out of credit” at the Bernabeu and the European champions will try to offload him this summer.

Real Madrid vs Alaves - Zinedine Zidane keen to highlight Gareth Bale’s value to Real Madrid
Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has backed the under-fire Gareth Bale (Nick Potts/PA)

But Zidane, speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s home league game against Alaves, said: “He will always be important in the team and is in the process of getting himself right.

“A player always misses out, I am not thinking of one or two but all the players.

“I know that some players are not of interest to you but there are those that train each day, hardly ever play and I am interested in them.

“I see Bale like all of them and I count on all of them.

“The important thing is that they train well and focused. I want him to be 100 per cent and I do not want to lose him again.

“A lot of things are important and there is a lot also under the surface, but I am sure that he will go on to play an important role.”

Bale has had another injury-hit campaign in the Spanish capital, missing two months in the autumn with a calf problem.

The 28-year-old has still scored nine goals this term, but he has struggled to make an impact in recent weeks and not been on the scoresheet in his last six appearances.

He was also on the bench for the recent La Liga game against Real Sociedad and also Paris St Germain, in the Champions League.

Bale did not appear happy to be a substitute at Leganes but could return to the starting line-up against Alaves, with doubts over Marco Asensio’s fitness.

Real Madrid vs Alaves - Zinedine Zidane keen to highlight Gareth Bale’s value to Real Madrid
Marco Asensio could miss Real Madrid’s game with Alaves after a trip to the dentist (Nick Potts/PA)

Asensio was absent from Real’s training session on Friday morning because he was at the dentist having a troublesome wisdom tooth removed.

Injured trio Toni Kroos, Luka Modric and Marcelo will definitely miss out and Zidane was keen to smooth out differences with midfielder Dani Ceballos, who was visibly irritated at being sent on in the final minute at Leganes.

“I felt bad and I am very sorry,” Zidane said.

“I told him and I do not like to put on a player for 30 seconds for nothing.

Real Madrid vs Alaves - Zinedine Zidane keen to highlight Gareth Bale’s value to Real Madrid
Dani Ceballos was annoyed by Zinedine Zidane’s decision to send him on in the final minute at Leganes (Nick Potts/Empics)

“He has not had many minutes and keeps working, he is fantastic and I remember the game against Alaves (Real won the away game 2-1 in September) when he scored two goals.”

On Real’s recent return to form with four straight wins, Zidane added: “It is clear that we have character, personality and to score 26 goals in six games is very good.

“We want to continue this good run.”

Alaves have also been in fine form, winning three consecutive league games for the first time this season.

Victories over Celta Vigo, Villarreal and Deportivo La Coruna have lifted them clear of relegation trouble.

“We are at our best and we will try to get the three points,” winger Ibai Gomez told the official Alaves website.

“But we know we are playing a team that is obliged to win all their matches and we must have a positive mentality.”

Former Barcelona forward Munir El Haddadi is suspended for Alaves after picking up a fifth yellow card.

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