Gareth Bale would not be guaranteed to start every game at Real Madrid despite his enormous price tag, the Spanish club's assistant coach Paul Clement warned yesterday.
The Welshman was officially presented as a Madrid player on Monday, after signing from Tottenham Hotspur on a six-year contract for a fee of around £83 million (HK$1 billion).
However, Clement says that Bale must prove his worth if he is to hold down a place in manager Carlo Ancelotti's team.
"There's a lot of competition for places - no one will be guaranteed anything," Clement said. "Coach Carlo Ancelotti has a clear idea how to use him, but things can change."
Ancelotti must also decide how to accommodate Bale in his team. The 24-year-old habitually played on the left for Spurs, occasionally being deployed in the centre, but the left flank at Madrid is Cristiano Ronaldo's domain. "Carlo is flexible enough to use Gareth and other players in different capacities," said Clement, who previously worked alongside Ancelotti at Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain.
"At Southampton, Bale played at left-back, which he also did at Spurs, where he became a more left-sided player. He recently became more central. He's got that versatility.
"It'll be interesting to see how players fit in together. We'll be trying to find their best position and what's best for the team as quickly as possible. Gareth has the goalscoring talent and ability to set up goals for others."
Bale, who is currently on international duty with Wales, is expected to make his Madrid debut in the Liga game against Villarreal on September 14.