Tottenham sign Bale: analyzing the pros and cons of the move
It’s almost official, Gareth Bale is set to become a Spurs player, having completed his medicals ahead of his return to Tottenham.
Here he is!
— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) September 18, 2020
The 31-year-old had been frozen out of the Real Madrid team for the last two years after falling out with Zinedine Zidane and was categorically told that he does not feature in the Frenchman’s plans.
Every summer brings with it new speculations that Gareth Bale is on his way out of Real Madrid and this was no different, with Manchester United among the sides linked with his signature.
However, Totteham were also mentioned as a potential destination and Bale’s agent laid further credence to this when he revealed that his client still loves Spurs and would relish a return to the Lily Whites.
Now, after months of speculation, it appears that the transfer would finally be completed, with Dele Alli heading to Real Madrid, while Tottenham sign Bale on loan. The move would see Spurs cover part of his salary and Real Madrid would subsidize the rest.
This would mark a return to White Hart Lane for Bale, with the winger having played some of the best football of his career in north London.
He is still held in high regards by fans of the club and supporters are waiting anxiously for the deal to be made official.
Despite this, there are some who view the move with a bit of skepticism, with former Aston Villa player Gabriel Agbolanhor calling the transfer a ‘panic buy.’
While this might not entirely be the case, critics have every right to look at the move skeptically but there are also some merits for all parties involved in the transfer.
How would Mourinho’s tactics change after Tottenham sign Bale?
Given his pedigree and abilities, it is without question that Bale would automatically become a starter under Jose Mourinho and there are several systems that could be deployed to get the best out of the Welshman.
The most obvious would see him function on the right flank of a three-man attack, complementing Heung-Min Son, with Harry Kane as the focal point.
The two-time PFA Player of the Year has also found success playing through the middle in a ‘free role’ and this is a position he currently plays for the Wales national team, while Harry Redknapp also played him in a similar position earlier in his career.
Mourinho could employ similar tactics, playing Gareth Bale behind a front two of Kane and Son but this looks unlikely, as the Portuguese manager has not experimented too much with this system throughout his managerial career.
He is likely to stick to his preferred three-man attack, with slight variations to ensure he can bring out the best in his new signing.
Bale’s arrival would have an impact on several players at the club, with the likes of Erik Lamela and Lucas Moura set to see their playing time reduced significantly.
Neither player has exactly impressed with the opportunities handed to them and Mourinho would not hesitate in dropping them to the bench.
The pros and cons of Bale’s arrival at White Hart Lane
As already indicated, supporters of the club are giddy with excitement after Tottenham sign Bale and rightly so, as the Welshman is one of the most high-profile players in the world.
? Gareth Bale has arrived at #THFC! ?
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) September 18, 2020
His transfer would help elevate the status of Spurs and beyond his contributions on the field, the club would also see an increase in off-field engagements and marketability owing to Bale’s superstar pedigree.
For all the talk of Tottenham being a big club these days, they have been sorely lacking in individual star power – a marquee name who would help boost their appeal in foreign markets and elevate them to a higher pedestal.
Of course, it would be foolhardy to suggest that Spurs would automatically get millions of followers with Bale’s arrival – he is no Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi – but it cannot be argued that he is one of the most marketable players in the world.
His signing would put the spotlight back on Tottenham and fans and pundits all over the world would tune in weekly to see how he is faring.
It also helps that Bale departed Real Madrid in acrimonious circumstances and this represents an opportunity to show that he is not past his best.
Beyond the economic benefits of the transfer, Spurs could also potentially profit from having a proven performer within their ranks.
Despite his struggles in the Spanish capital, Gareth Bale still ranks among the best players in the world and his performances with Wales show that he can still be a difference maker when need be.
None of the players within the current Tottenham squad know what it takes to perform on the biggest stages and with the exception of the Champions League final in 2019, they have not partaken in too many other high-profile matches.
This is something unique that Bale would be bringing to the table. He is already a four-time Champions League winner, while he also has the experience of playing with and against some of the greatest players of all-time on a regular basis.
Of course, it is not all good news and there are legitimate concerns that the move might not work out in Tottenham’s favor.
Chief of this is his poor fitness record in recent years, with no fewer than 24 different injuries sustained since he arrived at the Bernabeu in 2013.
These various injuries have kept him out of the team for long stretches at a time and Bale has not played 30 league matches in a season since his second campaign with Los Blancos.
The fact that he is 31 compounds the risk for the north London side and the grueling and compacted fixture list this season would put more pressure on his body.
Also, Tottenham fans would do well to tamper expectations, as Bale might not be the instant savior that the club is crying out for.
The Spurs squad is still deficient in several other areas and even if Gareth Bale does perform at an optimum, there is a limit to how much he can do on his own without the requite support around him.
It is also pertinent to note that the Bale returning to White Hart Lane is a very different player to the one who departed seven years ago.
Although he might have gained more experience, he no longer possesses the pace and physicality that saw him dominate Premier League defenses on a regular basis at 23.
Too often, fans are usually optimistic when a club legend returns after some time away but we have witnessed several instances when such players come back a shadow of their former selves.
After Tottenham sign Bale, it cannot be debated that they would have a chip on their shoulder and if the Welshman can step up to the plate, they would reap the dividends of this mega transfer.
There is also the possibility that it could go horribly wrong but either way, the value of the Premier League has been markedly improved by the addition of another marquee name.
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