Gareth Bale has re-joined Tottenham Hotspur after 7 years on a one-year loan deal to complete his sensational move back to the club from Real Madrid.
Bale is one of the most successful players in Tottenham’s history, scoring 55 goals across 203 games, twice being named the best player in the Premier League, and the best young player once, during his tenure.
Bale was untouchable in his golden season of 2012/13 when he took both Footballer of the Year prizes. His 21 goals in 33 league appearances added 24 points to Spurs’ tally.
Bale joined Madrid from Tottenham Hotspur for a world record fee of £85m million in 2013. The Wales star earned £300,000 per week, six-year deal after sealing a record transfer at that time which eclipsed the £80m Real paid Manchester United for Cristiano Ronaldo in 2009.
While his career at the Bernabeu was fruitful – he scored 105 goals, won four Champions League titles, and lifted La Liga twice, but the Wales international endured a gradually deteriorating relationship with the club, in particular coach Zinedine Zidane.
Bale’s career with the La Liga giants was affected by his inconsistent form and injury woes but despite constant attempts to break into the playing eleven, he had been frozen out by coach Zinedine Zidane.
Bale barely played a part in the 2018-’19 season and looked likely to be sold. From once being a regular starter, he was down in the pecking order and failed to make any impact as a substitute, also being seen taking a nap at the end of the 2020 season on the bench and barely celebrating the club’s La Liga title win.
Bale’s game time dramatically reduced. Last season, he made just 14 starts for Los Blancos and was almost shipped off to Chinese side Jiangsu Suning in January, though the proposed deal was blocked by the Spanish giants.
Bale, despite being a winger, averaged a goal every 170 minutes for Los Blancos.
He also contributed with 68 assists, with 19 of those coming in the UEFA Champions League, which is 17 more than English legend David Beckham (51 assists) managed during his four-year stint in the Spanish capital in all competitions.
One of his nine goal contributions in finals saw the Welshman leave Barcelona’s Marc Bartra for dead in a foot race in 2014 and scoring one of the best solo goals in his career.
His highest tally in a single season came in 2015/16 when he scored 19 goals in just 23 appearances. In 2017/18, he found the back of the net 16 times in 26 games for Madrid.
It is also anticipated Real Madrid full-back Sergio Reguilon will complete his transfer to Tottenham on Friday. The 23-year-old Spain international played last season on loan at Sevilla, winning the Europa League.
Bale originally joined Spurs from Southampton in 2007 and started as a left-back, but soon was converted into a winger by Spurs’ manager at that time, Harry Redknapp.
Bale is not the 24 year-old starlet he was when he left Tottenham. Spurs are set to pay half of his salary, something that chairman Daniel Levy would have been acutely aware of.
In 2017, he was clocked at a record breaking 22.9mph — faster than the likes of Mbappe and Ronaldo. Even if there’s been a noticeable dip in his pace, he’ll still be much faster than many Premier League footballers. So while Bale will likely not have the same explosive, devastating turn of pace of before, he’s probably no slower either.
Kane, Bale and Son will form one of the most attacking, dynamic, and sumptuous front threes in all of football. There are still frailities in defence, but surely they will aim to have a successful season in Jose Mourinho’s second season in-charge which as history knows it, brings him trophies.
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