Gareth Bale was undoubtedly the Premier League’s standout player in the 2012-13 campaign and after Tottenham’s failure to qualify for the Champions League; the rumours linking Bale with a summer transfer are being produced daily.
Some big names such as Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos have supported the potential transfer to Real Madrid but Spurs fans remain hopeful he will stay and I think they have good reason to.
The first thing to address is that yes Gareth Bale is good, in fact he is exceptional, but he is still not the finished product. He has room to improve his game and Tottenham is the best place to do so. Many of Bale’s plaudits have come courtesy of his move to a more central role behind the striker; a role in which he has only recently occupied. He still needs to improve his central game in terms of his vision and picking out key passes at key times of games. Other centre forwards such as Juan Mata and David Silva are much better and passing the ball and keeping calm in possession. Sure, Bale has proved this season that he can do it all himself with spectacular strikes but this can’t last forever. Papiss Cisse proved that it is very hard to replicate your performance last season when the majority of your goals were Goal of the Season contenders.
A move to Spain right now wouldn’t suit Bale’s playing style. His game is all about speed and space; he exploits the space in front of him by racing past players with ease. However, in La Liga the playing style is very different. It is all about patience and decisive passes. A large number of teams will play with 10 men behind the ball when they come up against the La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona. Bale simply wouldn’t have the space in front of him to compliment his main qualities as a forward.
Bale is very much a left-footed player and produces very little with his right foot in comparison. If he moves to Madrid or anywhere else for that matter, there will be as significant level of expectation on him to perform at his best each and every week. But in order to realise his full potential he first has to improve his ability with his weaker side. He can do that next season at Spurs where his every move won’t be under intense scrutiny by a crowd of 70,000 plus.
Bale hasn’t had too much time to reflect on his future after being occupied with Tottenham’s battle for fourth place. If he stays where he is next season then he will have more time to think about where he truly wants to go. He could see how the new look Manchester United and City sides shape up and whether Bayern and PSG continue their dominance. He has to look no further than former teammate Luka Modric to realise a move abroad isn’t always the best thing after he was named worst La Liga signing of the season and has spent the majority of his time on Jose Mourinho’s bench.
Tottenham are also not in a position that they have to sell. Bale has three years left on his contract and they can easily get a similar sum of money for Bale next season if he has another good campaign. We all know how Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain and will not let him go unless it is for the right price.
Spurs have the hottest property in Europe at the moment and are very fortunate to do so. But they are in a strong position because he is wanted by so many teams. After selling big names such as Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric to bigger clubs, it may be time for Levy to appreciate that for Spurs fans football is not a business, it is their livelihood and they want to see their best players stay at the club.
There is of course the argument that if he moves to a bigger and better team, he will be playing with bigger and better players who will improve Bale’s game. Although this is true, he is the undisputed main man at Spurs. Everything good about their attack comes through him. This responsibility will improve his game also because he knows if that the rest of the team will have to step up their game in order to keep up with Bale. By keeping hold of the Welshman, Tottenham can attract better players to the team which can learn from Bale but also improve his game.
It has also been previously stated that Gareth Bale is a family man and when he has a few days holiday he prefers to spend them with his family in Wales. Having just recently had his first child, it seems unlikely that he will want to relocate her at such a young age especially to a much hotter climate. It is also clear that he loves playing for Tottenham.
He is part of a young, improving squad which can only get better. His goal celebration at Old Trafford last September was hardly a celebration to say ‘see you soon’. His relationship with manager Andre Villas Boas also looks strong as the two demonstrated when Bale scored the 90th minute winner at West Ham earlier in the season.
Tottenham have recently moved into a new state of the art training ground which the players enjoy. There are also plans for a new stadium to be built in the near future which would increase the capacity to over 50,000. Bale has previously stated that he would love to be a part of the transition and he would be the spearhead for the new Spurs revolution.
Bale also has gained a reputation aside from his footballing genius as somewhat of a diver, having received five bookings for simulation last season.
Now although I believe he has been harshly treated in some occasions such as the last game of the season against Sunderland, there have been incidents where he appears to have gone to ground too easily. Bale will almost certainly want to change people’s perceptions of him and he can do so by proving them wrong in the next campaign here in England.
I for one expect Bale to remain at Tottenham for next season at least. He may decide that if they make it into the Champions league places then he has done his job and will have earned a transfer. For now, I think that Tottenham fans can rest easily and be excited about watching their star player grace White Hart Lane again next season.
Do you think Gareth Bale will leave Spurs this season? How much is he worth? Let us know by commenting below.
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