'Who needs Mesut Ozil?' Spanish press now state Gareth Bale has been better than the Arsenal playmaker this season

£86m Welshman's recent form is proving doubters wrong in Spain

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The Independent Football

Another weekend, another assist, and the Gareth Bale bandwagon rolls on. The £86m Welshman, once heavily criticised by the Spanish press, is now being favourably compared to Mesut Ozil, the man who he replaced at the Bernabeu after the playmaker moved to Arsenal for £42.5m as Real Madrid hoped to recoup some of their losses.

In an article in the Madrid–based newspaper Marca, titled ‘Who needs Ozil?’ it compares the start both players have had at their new clubs after 10 matches and it states that Bale, who joined for the world-record fee from Tottenham, has been the more effective of the two. Bale was on hand to create  Madrid's fourth goal, for Sami Khedira, in the 5-1 home win over Real Sociedad on Saturday.

Despite a much-maligned start for the La Liga giants, culminating in being labelled the “worst Real Madrid player” in the 2-1 El Clasico defeat against Barcelona at the Nou Camp, the 24-year-old  has since either scored or made an assist in his last four matches for the club. In total, Bale has now made five assists and scored four goals for Madrid, the same amount of assists but one more goal than Ozil during his spell in north London, before today’s vital trip to Old Trafford.

“Gareth Bale's arrival at Real Madrid was largely due to the €50-million sale of Mesut Ozil to Arsenal,” Santiago Siguerson writes in the paper. “Injury to the Welshman at the start of the season made it difficult to compare the two players, but now that he has played a considerable amount of matches an idea can be obtained.

 “Ozil's impact in London was immediate, as he played a decisive role in his first matches of the season, producing several assists, [whereas] Bale took longer to make an impact, due to his injury-plagued start.”

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