As we wing our way towards summer at the speed of Usain Bolt running the 100m, the transfer talk is already heating up as newspapers prepare to move up the gears in to transfer gossip overdrive. Plenty of players will be linked with moves and we love nothing more than buying in to the rumours we read, but we never know how accurate they are until a player is pictured holding their new clubs shirt with a statement confirmed on the official website. One of the players that will be centre of attention this summer is Tottenham’s flying Welshman Gareth Bale. He is already being linked with Europe’s biggest clubs. So we’re asking the question is Gareth ready to Bale on Tottenham?
Following a less than spectacular start to life at Spurs, Gareth Bale has risen to prominence over the past three seasons. Bale has seemingly gone from another waste of potential to a world-beater as he continues to build a global reputation. Bale’s progress coincided with the appointment of Harry Redknapp at the good ship Tottenham, but at one point Bale’s future under Redknapp looked far from certain.
Bale has watched players with potential like Kevin-Prince Boateng and Giovani Dos Santos arrive at Spurs and their career’s have stalled, at times Bale must have thought this would also be his fate. But under Redknapp, Bale started to progress as ‘Arry gave him a chance. Bale bulked-up and had to man-up too fulfill his potential and now he looks more like Ronaldo than he does Mr Burns.
Bale made his global reputation on the back of some impressive performances in the 2010/11 Champions League that confirmed him as one of the best left-sided players around. He has continued to improve and this season represents his best return even though many have questioned whether his influence on games has been enough. But the stats don’t lie and this season is Bale’s first season in double figures for both goals and assists in all competitions. Bale’s output for the team is hard to match and in the Premier League the only players that come close are Manchester United pair Antonio Valencia and Nani, Chelsea’s Juan Mata and Manchester City’s David Silva.
There is no doubt Bale has come on leaps and bounds, but there has been some criticism of him. Bale seems to drift in and out of games a little too much for a player who is capable of dominating matches. Since a dazzling display away to Norwich, in a match many consider his best this season, Bale has started to drift in to narrow areas too often following a newfound confidence to play there. This has shown where Bale’s game is put to best use – running in to space and getting in behind defenders down the wing – the middle is too congested to play to his strengths.
There is no doubt Bale is one of the shining lights at Tottenham and recently Bale has been linked with Barcelona with Dani Alves even commented he can see Bale as Barca’s left back…and that isn’t in the changing room. Redknapp has always said Bale could be one the world’s best left back’s as his career and abilities mature, but ‘Arry has been reluctant to play him there. Bale gets doubled up on less coming from deep positions and can overlap which creates the space for him to effect games much the same way Kyle Walker has started to. Bale is an excellent winger, but suitors can see his potential, like Redknapp, at left back.
Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City have all been linked with Bale at some point, but is it time for Gareth to Bale? Personally I don’t think he is emotionally mature enough to move abroad. Redknapp is right to publicly point out that he is still young and also a home bird. There is nothing Bale likes more than a trip back to Wales or to stay in his London apartment and play Fifa 12 with his mates – he isn’t ready for Spain.
Bale wouldn’t have a problem relocating within the Premier League, but would Spurs sell him to a rival? Daniel Levy would no doubt adopt an ‘over my dead body’ stance, but Bale has said he has had a taste of the Champions League and wants more – Spurs could be facing another Luka Modric scenario if they cannot offer that to him.
Personally I don’t think the time is right to move for Bale. He needs to play and is still developing, would he get as much game time at the clubs mentioned – maybe…but maybe not. More would be expected from him at such clubs and he would have to put in regularly consistent performances to deserve a place in the team, at Spurs his position is unchallenged.
Gareth Bale is not ready for Spain, this is an experience that should be something for a player to savor in the latter half of their 20’s – could he handle the culture, language barrier and move? I am not so sure, he is still only 22. For me Bale owes Spurs one more season and if they can’t deliver what his talent deserves after next season, then it will be time for him to go, but he will be a better and more developed player when he does depart.
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