It has been somewhat of a whirlwind season for the Welsh international, starting the campaign in high spirits following the Copa Del Rey and Champions League successes only months before.
What followed was a history-making period for Los Blancos, the La Liga giants recording an astonishing 22-game winning streak and star player Cristiano Ronaldo winning his second Ballon d’Or in succession.
However, since the turn of the year, injuries to the likes of Sergio Ramos, Luka Modric and James Rodriguez have halted momentum and Bale in particular went nine games without a goal.
During that period, the Madrid outfit surrendered top spot to Barcelona and drew heavy criticism from the press, no more so than Spurs’ former favourite who was branded a ‘lazy loner’ by Spanish paper Marca.
Sunday’s 9-1 victory over Granada was the perfect response to their recent slump, and there was evident optimism around the Bernabeu following the return of Colombia’s golden boy James Rodriguez.
With a full roster to choose from, coach Carlo Ancelotti has an array of attacking wealth at his disposal and fitting them all in is going to prove a tricky task.
Yet, for the Madrid supporters, there is a straightforward option the Italian should take, even if it against the wishes of club president Florentino Perez – drop the world’s most expensive player.
In a poll conducted by paper AS, when asked who should be excluded from the XI, a majority 31% from more than 12,000 participants voted for Bale, whereas Toni Kroos received just 3.7% of the votes.
Since trading White Hart Lane for the Santiago Bernabeu, only Ronaldo has contributed more than Bale via goals and assists, though for the 25-year-old he seemingly still needs to do more.