Wayne Rooney has suggested the signing of Gareth Bale is the reason behind Tottenham’s recent improvement in attack – even though the Welshman is yet to play.
Spurs put six past a hapless Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday, just three days after beating Maccabi Haifa 7-2 in Europa League qualifying. They also scored five goals at Southampton last month, earning plenty of plaudits for their efficiency up front in the process.
Harry Kane and Son Heung-min have been largely responsible for the goals, with Kane assisting all four of Son’s strikes at Southampton before the pair wreaked havoc together once again at Old Trafford.
And Rooney thinks thinks Kane and Son have been forced to up their game since the arrival of true competition in the form of Bale.
“It’s amazing what a signing can do,” Rooney wrote in his column for the Times (as relayed by HITC). “Without even being on the pitch Gareth Bale has provoked a reaction in Tottenham’s squad. Players are just like supporters — we get excited by transfers too.
“Seeing Bale, one of the best in the world, arrive will make Spurs’ players say, ‘I don’t want to lose my spot, I want to play with him.’ With someone of that quality joining, who creates and scores goals, those Tottenham players will feel a sense of release.
“They’ll think, ‘We’re not only relying on Kane now,’ and for Harry, it is perhaps his first real competition — because Bale can play No 9. Knowing Harry, he’ll thrive on it.
“One who I’m looking forward to seeing Bale link with is Son Heung-min. I think he’s a great player, who brings great energy and gets goals. I’m sure in South Korea they went crazy when he netted four times against Southampton: I played with Park Ji-sung and know what it was like over there whenever he scored. The only downside was I had Son in my Fantasy League team the week before — then took him out.”
For Tottenham fans, it is truly a delight to watch the way the team is attacking at present. Son and Kane are in sublime form, while the likes of Giovani Lo Celso and Tanguy Ndombele are also starting to chip in.
And with Bale set to play a part after the international break, who knows how many five or six-goal hauls we could see this season?