Was Gareth Bale The Right Choice For Tottenham?
Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham is a move that has the potential to push Spurs to the next level. Having been so close to the sport’s elite clubs recently, the past couple of years have seen a slight dip in intensity. The team had plateauedd and desperately needed new energy if they were going to restore some momentum.
And there’s no denying that Bale can do that. He’s barely played any football in the past couple of years. He’s been on the fringe of the Madrid side (albeit, you imagine, not always for footballing reasons). For most other players, this would be a warning sign that things might not run as smoothly as you would hope, but this is Gareth Bale, a player who can nonchalantly produce an outstanding overhead kick in a Champions League Final to win the game. There’s a very short list of players capable of such feats, and Tottenham now have one of them in their squad.
The Star Factor
Bale’s technical ability is without question, though there are doubts about his fitness. Zidane froze him out of Madrid for personal and political reasons (we can assume), but there were also the injuries. How many games Bale actually plays this season remains to be seen. It’s been a long time since he’s completed a full season, and even longer since he completed one in a league as intense as the Premier League.
Fortunately, Spurs aren’t just buying goals and assists. They’re buying star power. It can’t be understated just how important it is to have a proven winner in the locker room. Bale brings two league titles, a Copa del Ray, four Champions League medals. And it’s not just the number of honours Bale has won; he played a pivotal role in securing those titles. Even if his season is impacted by injuries or anything else, he still has the ability to elevate his teammates and bring a winning mentality to the club.
Of course, Bale wasn’t the only player available. He may not even have been the best choice. Spurs had to spend a lot of money to get their man and let’s not forget that he is 31 and injury-prone. A move for a wide forward was always on the cards, but did it have to be Bale? Spurs desperately needed to add more firepower to their line-up, but the Welshmen wasn’t the only player that Mourinho and Levy considered buying. Before approaching Real Madrid about acquiring Bale, the board approached Brentford to discuss signing Ollie Watkins – one of the best Championship players last year – who can play centrally or wide. For whatever reason, Spurs decided not to proceed, and in the end, Watkins signed for Aston Villa.
Adding a goalscorer wasn’t the only area in which Tottenham needed to improve. There’s still some time in the transfer window; will the side be able to bring in other players? The midfield could do with some creativity; they haven’t really filled the hole left by Cristian Eriksen’s departure. Incidentally, the midfield has fallen out of favour at Inter Milan. Harry Redknapp also suggested bringing Luka Modric back. In the absence of anyone more suitable for the side, why not look to the past? There weren’t any trophies, but all of these players have been involved in some highly-memorable Spurs moments.
Was Tottenham The Right Choice for Bale?
Providing Bale can deliver anything close to his best, Tottenham will be happy with their purchase. But what about Gareth Bale? It must be acknowledged that the Welshmen has taken a risk by rejoining a club where he is idolised. He could have stayed in Madrid, picked up his millions, and played golf. Not a bad life, by any stretch. There’s no denying that the pressure is on. If he fails to deliver, then the view of Bale come the end of the season will be different, in the UK at least. The current narrative is “Outstanding Player Misused at Real Madrid.” That narrative may prove to be true at the end of the season, or it may not.
One thing is in Gareth Bale’s favour: pressure doesn’t seem to bother him (see all those magical goals in big games). Whatever happens, we can expect it to be exciting.