Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Rugby fanatic - but so much more
Tottenham Hotspur have made the biggest signing of the summer window by re-signing Gareth Bale from Real Madrid. The 31-year old will arrive at Spurs on a one-year loan deal. Bale will continue to earn his staggering £600,000 per week wage, although Real Madrid will be paying a percentage of the cost. This makes Bale the highest paid player in the Premier League ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s paltry £375,000 per week wage.
Bale arrived at Tottenham’s training ground on Friday afternoon after being flown from Madrid in Tottenham owner Daniel Levy’s private jet. The forward completed his medical in Madrid in line with Covid-19 guidance. This comes after Bale sustained a knee injury in a recent Wales match. At the moment, it looks like the forward would miss Tottenham’s next five games.
The winger was a hero at White Hart Lane during his stay at Tottenham between 2007 and 2013. He was signed to Real Madrid for a then-record fee of £85 million. Bale’s time at Los Blancos saw him score 108 goals and get 68 assists in 251 games. These included perhaps the best European Cup final goal in Real Madrid’s 2-1 Champions League defeat of Liverpool in 2018.
But Bale never managed to achieve a good relationship with the notoriously hard-to-please Real Madrid faithful. There were a number of minor controversies that included Bale’s unwillingness to learn Spanish, his failure to go out late, and of course, the parading of a banner displaying the words, ‘Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.’
Real Madrid’s manager Zinedine Zidane and Bale clearly didn’t get on well, and things were made worse when the player declared himself fit enough to play for Wales’ Euro 2021 qualifier after being absent for Real Madrid for several weeks. Plus with no league goals scored in one year, Bale will have something to prove when he returns to Tottenham.
While Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham is a headline-writer’s dream, there remain big questions as to whether Welsh star is right for Jose Mourinho’s squad. It will take time for Bale to get match fitness, and the striker barely played football in the latter half of last season. With forwards like Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min, Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, Spurs aren’t exactly lacking in attacking strength.
If anything, a solid central defender could have been a shrewder buy for Tottenham. Thankfully Bale has arrived at Tottenham with his Real Madrid teammate Sergio Reguilion. The 23-year old left back put on a series of excellent performances on loan for Sevilla last season, and he’ll join Tottenham on a £27.6 million long-term contract.
Such a move will produce a more dynamic backline in comparison to the more defensively minded Ben Davies. Other key signings have included £14.7 for Matt Doherty from Wolves as right back in a bid to provide competition for the error-prone Serge Aurier. Plus £20 million for Southampton’s midfielder Pierre-Emilie Hojbjerg looks like a wise move given that last season’s big signing Tanguy Ndombele has so far failed to live up to expectations.
But above all, it’s the fact that Bale was Tottenham’s best player in 20 years that will give the team a much-needed moral boost. The fact that a left footer is coming into the Spurs team will balance out the side, and Bale still has impressive pace. So while much of the summer transfer window looked like Lionel Messi might be signing to Manchester City, it looks like it might be Gareth Bale and Tottenham who could have the last laugh.