The fate of Tottenham’s season will be decided by 90 fateful minutes this Sunday, with the White Hart Lane outfit ready to find out whether they will finish fourth or fifth in the Premier League. The slimmest of margins may well decide whether it is Champions League or Europa League competition next term for Andre Villas-Boas’ men, and in the long term resolve where their top player, Gareth Bale, plays his football.
If Arsenal beat Newcastle United at St James’ Park on Sunday, Tottenham’s fate of fifth place will be sealed. However, should the Gunners slip up, Spurs can steal fourth with a better result against Sunderland. If Spurs miss out on the Champions League once more, the odds at Unibet will shorten on Bale leaving the club.
The best players want to play at the highest level, and no-one could blame the Welsh attacker leaving if Barcelona, Real Madrid or Manchester United come knocking.
Spurs went through a similar ordeal last summer when Luka Modric left the club after Champions League football was not obtained. The Croatian playmaker has been successfully replaced by Mousa Dembele, however should Bale leave, his departure would leave Tottenham with a major hole to fill.
Players of Bale’s considerable ability are thin on the ground, and despite obtaining a sizeable transfer fee for his services, Spurs would struggle to sign a player anywhere near as good for next season.
However, should Arsenal slip up and Tottenham sneak into Champions League contention, Bale may well decide that forming the central part of a club on the up may be more appealing that moving to a bigger side, and no longer being the main man. A top four finish would allow Spurs to strengthen in the summer, and with Bale continuing to improve, the north Londoners could well be a force domestically and be competitive on the continent too.
Bale’s future is certainly a hot topic in the press, but at the end of the day the decision is really up to him. Tottenham will not sell their prize asset on the cheap, but if he opts to leave for pastures new there will be suitors who will pay top dollar for his signature. If Spurs scrape into the top four and Bale decides to stay, he could be a Tottenham legend in the making.