Jurgen Klinsmann is the last Tottenham player before Gareth Bale to score 20 league goals in a season and win the Footballer of the Year award for his efforts.
Klinsmann, currently in charge of the US national team, is convinced that, if Tottenham fail to qualify for the Champions League, Bale would do exactly what he did after he won the Footballer of the Year award in 1995: leave north London.
Klinsmann opted for a move to Bayern Munich right after his most successful season with Spurs to be able to compete in Europe’s top tier.
"My reason for leaving the Spurs was only to play on a bigger stage," he told the Independent. "That's why I left the Spurs for Bayern Munich many years ago. I wanted to play top European football.
Bale has been in terrific form this season and, had it not been for the Welshman, Tottenham might have found themselves much worse off than they currently are.
He raked in awards for his feats this season including the PFA Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards as well as the Football Writers' Association's Footballer of the Year accolade.
"I think he deserves that recognition, footballer of the year." Klinsmann said in an interview near his home in Southern California. "He deserves an amazing amount of admiration for how he's played the last two or three seasons.
"He plays for Wales and can probably never play in a World Cup. A player like him needs to play on the biggest stage. The risk is if Tottenham don't reach the biggest stage, the Champions League, that they might lose him.
"I'm a huge Tottenham fan and I'm also a huge Gareth Bale admirer.
"I just hope, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed, that they make into the Champions League. The risk is very big that if you don't go into the Champions League, you'll lose Gareth Bale.
"But I hope they make it happen, qualify for the Champions League and play Champions League next season and can keep Gareth Bale at White Hart Lane. That is my big hope,” Klinsmann concluded.
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