Los Angeles FC are the name on many people’s lips at the moment after the lesser-known Major League Soccer side have announced the arrival of five-time Champions League winner Gareth Bale.
The former Real Madrid man left the Santiago Bernabeu last summer following the expiration of his contract and left plenty of people guessing where his next move would be. Cardiff City were at one stage the favourites for his signature, but Bale was tempted by the bright lights of L.A.
He is not the only superstar preparing to make the move stateside, with ex-Juventus stalwart Giorgio Chiellini calling time on his 18-year stay in Turin to join Bale at LAFC. And there is already one former Premier League ace plying his trade in Angel City, a figure that may be familiar to Arsenal fans in Mexican international Carlos Vela.
The forward spent seven years on the books at Arsenal but only really broke into the senior side for four of those and was famed for his deft, chipped finishes while at the Emirates.
Since Vela has made the move to America at the beginning of 2018, he has cleaned up on the individual accolade front. The 33-year-old has been named the MLS all-star in both 2018 and 2019, as well as both the MLS golden boot and Most Valuable Player award also in 2019.
Vela has already sealed his place as a legend in the eyes of the Los Angeles faithful and both Bale and Chiellini will be hoping to reach similar heights once they don the black and gold shirt.
Ex-Spurs star Bale’s contract sees him tied to the club until 2023 with the option to extend for another year should both parties want to carry on the journey. The club’s co-president and general manager John Thorrington has put to bed any talk suggesting Bale was only signed to keep his fitness ticking over before the World Cup later this year.
“LAFC and Gareth are hoping this is a long-term partnership,” Thorrington said. “It was never about six months just ahead of the World Cup. We were always talking longer-term than that.”
The idea of Bale and Vela linking up together in attack while LAFC boast the imposing presence and intelligence of Chiellini at the back is an intimidating prospect for opposition sides next term.
Potential Los Angeles FC line-up: Crepeau: Escobar, Murillo, Chiellini, Palacios; Acosta, Ilie, Cifuentes; Bale, Vela, Rodriguez.