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Mijatovic: Bale is nowhere near being a leader for Real Madrid

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Former Real Madrid forward Predrag Mijatovic doubts Gareth Bale will ever be able to be the leader Cristiano Ronaldo was at the club

The Wales star made little impact before being replaced by Isco at half-time in Thursday’s 2-2 draw at Villarreal in La Liga with a calf muscle problem.

Bale has now been substituted 15 times in all competitions this season after sustaining the 18th injury problem of his four and a half year spell at Real.

Now Mijatovic doubts that Bale will ever be able to fill the void left by Ronaldo last summer when he joined Juventus in a €112m deal.

“It’s a shame about Bale,” Mijatovic told El Larguero.

“I like him, but he is nowhere near being a leader at a team like Real Madrid after Cristiano’s exit. It is worrying that he injures himself so often.”

During the 2-2 draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica, Luka Modric was struggling with flu and was replaced by Federico Valverde in the second-half.

While Vinicius Junior came on for Toni Kroos in the 86th-minute of the match as Real searched for a late winner after Santi Cazorla’s dramatic equaliser.

But Santiago Solari’s choices at Villarreal left Mijatovic baffled.

“If a player starts the game and feels good, [let him continue],” said Mijatovic.

“If he asks to be substituted, then that is one thing, but if not, I do not understand.

“The substitution of Modric was wrong. I don’t understand Kroos’ substitution, either.”

The former Yugoslavia international doubts there will be any new arrivals in this month’s transfer window, despite Real’s painful start to the season.

“I find it hard to watch Real Madrid this year,” added Mijatovic.

“They were good in the first half and when we all thought they were going to carry on, there was a disastrous second half and no play.

“I think that Madrid are not going to make any more signings. Signing a player who can offer a good performance will be difficult.”