Boardroom breaks down the free transfer bringing Bale to LAFC and how it will benefit Major League Soccer.
Gareth Bale is coming to America. After completing a quest of chasing every cherished trophy that European football offers, the 32-year-old forward is heading to MLS club Los Angeles FC.
On Monday, LAFC announced Bale’s signing as a free agent on a one-year deal after completing his contractual obligations from La Liga powerhouse Real Madrid. Bale rose to prominence as a member of Tottenham Hotspur before transferring to the Spanish juggernauts for a previous record transfer fee of $105.56 million.
Bale joins LAFC after a busy transfer window of collecting European talent and resigning their top talents. The California side re-signed Carlos Vela, their best player, and completed a transfer for the Italian center-back Giorgio Chiellini.
Let’s see how Bale fits into LAFC.
Contract and Transfer Details
Contract length: 1 year (plus options through to 2024)
Expected annual wages: $1.6125 million, as reported by The Athletic
Free agency: 2023
Base transfer fee: Free transfer
Estimated market value: $3,300,000 (via Transfermarkt)
- 6x Welsh Footballer of the Year (2010, ’11, ’13, ’14, ’15, ’16)
- 1x Premier League Player of the Year (2016)
- 1x FIFA Club World Cup Top Scorer (2017)
- 4x FIFA Club World Cup Winner (2014, ’16, ’17, ’18)
- 5x Champions League Winner (2013-14, 2015-16, 2016-17, 2017-18, 2021-22)
- 3x La Liga Champion (2016-17, 2019-20, 2021-22)
- 3x UEFA Super Cup Champion (2014-15, 2016-17, 2017-18)
- 1x Copa del Rey Champion (2013)
- 3x Spanish Super Cup Champion (2017-18, 2019-20, 2021-22)
- 1x Carabao Cup Winner (2008)
The Value Bale Brings to LAFC
Despite his age, Bale’s skill level and experience benefit LAFC and MLS. He’s a generational talent that can still play at a high level while mentoring young forwards Cristian Arango and Brian Rodríguez. For those doubting the ability of Bale to perform, look at his last loan spell under Tottenham.
Bale returned to Tottenham Hotspur on a one-year loan spell in 2020. In just 34 appearances, Bale scored 16 goals across all competitions, including a hat trick against Sheffield United, which was his second hat-trick game in his Premier League career.
Additionally, Bale performs consistently at a high level for Wales in international competition. As team captain, Bale scored two goals against Austria in the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying semi-finals to send his country to the playoff final. The team went on to qualify for the World Cup after a 1-0 defeat against Ukraine. Today, he’s universally known as the best Welsh footballer of all time.
Gareth has the pace to continue his role of being used as a left-winger. However, with the slower style of play in MLS, he’ll have the ability to be slotted up front as a primary striker. Currently, LAFC runs a 4-3-3 or 3-1-4-2 system, meaning Bale could share striking duties up front with Vela if they choose to use either player up front.
Bale possesses pace, flair, leadership, and skill. LAFC could activate Bale and Chiellini as early as this summer, and both signings should immediately impact a club already sitting atop the Western Conference.