Former Spurs ace defends Bale despite muted impact

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Gareth Bale has had a rather muted impact on the Tottenham Hotspur team.

The Wales international moved to Spurs in the summer from Real Madrid on an initial loan deal.

There was much fanfare surrounding his arrival but, thus far, he has yet to really make a major impact on proceedings.

He has made just one start in the Premier League, in the narrow win over West Bromwich Albion.

Bale did score the winner against Brighton & Hove Albion, coming off the bench to do so, but has mainly played in the Europa League, making six starts in the group stages.

He also played 45 minutes in the Carabao Cup win over Stoke City earlier this week, scoring the opening goal in the 3-1 success, but was substituted at half-time.

Jose Mourinho is using him sparingly but former Spurs striker Darren Bent believes that he is having more of an impact off the pitch instead of on it.

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Speaking to Football Insider, he has defended the Welshman as the season progresses.

He said: “His impact on that team has not necessarily been on the pitch.”

He added, about the game against Stoke: The Bale of old would have got the ball and opened his legs up, push the ball and you could get nowhere near him.

“I wonder, can he still do that?

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“Other than his goal, I don’t think Bale pulled up any trees. But he gets the goal and papers over the cracks.

“He showed flashes but I feel like I’m still yet to see him open up and sprint. I wonder, is there still a little bit of an issue there? Is he potentially a little bit unsure in his body because he doesn’t want anything to break down?

“But his impact has been off the pitch in the changing room: it’s his winning mentality.

“You’ve got a manager there who’s a serial winner and you’ve got Bale who’s a serial winner.”

GIVEMESPORT’S Harry Sherlock says…

Bent is right here.

Mourinho made it a clear priority to bring in some really experienced heads in the summer transfer window, with Bale joining Joe Hart and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, among others, but they are three senior stars who have been there and done it.

Bale has a huge trophy cabinet and has won four Champions League titles in his career.

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That influence cannot be understated and it should help the club get over the line in major fixtures this season.

Spurs, after all, are in the semi-finals of the EFL Cup and are into the knockout stages of the Europa League; with Bale in the squad, their hopes of winning both competitions have improved rather than diminished.

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