We don't need more playmakers in our team..what we need is a defender and Bale it's not that person. Just because he started as a LB long time ago it doesn't mean that he will be one ever again..and if we are to compare him with a player that we bought from England, that player would be Cesc, not Mascherano..
They both started in different positions, being moved higher on the pitch, had free roles at Arsenal and Spurs and are tactically poor. But while buying Cesc made sense because we still have Xavi and Iniesta, Abi won't play ever again so it's not reasonable to make a 40 million euros experimental buy.
If we were able to cope so well without Puyol in 2010/2011 it was thanks to Abidal, not Pique. Since the WC 2010 Pique only got worse and a few good games here and there won't change that..though I would still have preffered him or Abi instead of Puyol/Masche, but that's because these 2 have little understanding.