Since the season ended the constant question has been: will Gareth Bale stay or will he go?
Tottenham have strenuously denied that Bale is for sale, and that the persistence of Real Madrid and Manchester United was all for nothing. Various amounts of money have been bandied about, but nothing as yet has come to fruition. However, does the signing of Chadli suggest that Tottenham are planning for life without Bale?
Nacer Chadli was signed from Dutch side FC Twente for £7million. An established international, he is part of the crop of outstanding youngsters that Belgium has produced of late.
He scored 12 goals from 26 games for Twente last season, his best return in his three seasons at the club. Like Bale, Chadli is predominantly a left winger, though they have both been known to play elsewhere in attack. Chadli is still only 23 and has plenty of time to improve as a player; I have no doubt that he can only get better.
Yet the signing of Chadli is an interesting one. He has been linked on and off with a number of clubs, but the fact a left winger has signed for Spurs, when the talk of the town is of their current left winger leaving, it could look, to fans and neutrals, suspiciously like Tottenham are planning for life without him.
Whilst last season it was clear to see Spurs did not have a back-up for the Welsh winger, and with the returning Danny Rose, who is equally adept at left back or left wing, one could make the assumption that with Rose coming back from a somewhat successful loan spell (and in terms of successful I mean, he played a large amount of minutes), are Spurs making sure they are not caught short by the imminent departure of Bale?
The plus side of Tottenham selling Bale would obviously be the big pay check they would be receiving and the opportunity to bring in some top qualities players. However, to lose a player of Bale’s ability will more than likely have some impact on team performance.
It would be an ultimate compliment to Chadli if by signing him, he is seen as a replacement for the irrepressible Welsh winger. If this proves to be the case, then the pressure placed on Chadli’s shoulder will be immensely heavy. Whilst it maybe dismissive to assume he has been signed on the grounds that Bale is due to be sold, it is still an interesting prospect for the rest of the summer transfer window and especially for the Tottenham faithful.
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