By Aled Biston | Head of Welsh Content
After weeks of speculation, it was announced that Gareth Bale would be re-joining his former club, Tottenham Hotspur, on loan following an extended period of unhappiness in Madrid. Bale will team up with Jose Mourinho and the rest of the Spurs squad for the 2020/21 season, in hope of resurrecting what has been a below par year for the North London club. But what does this move mean for Bale himself and the Welsh National team.
Without a doubt there is excitement seeing Bale back in the Premier League. He certainly left Spurs in 2013 having a huge impact, securing himself the status as one of the best players to play in the league after several brilliant campaigns.
From 2007 to 2013, Bale scored 42 goals in 146 games, a stat which is even more impressive considering Bale was a left back for four of those years. After moving to the wing, he was vital to Spurs attacking prowess, scoring and creating many chances for his teammates. He had a season to remember in 2012/13, scooping The PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year, FWA Footballer of the Year and Premier League Player of the Season.
After seven successful years in Spain, Bale has returned to Spurs on loan after a troubled spell with Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane. His lack of game time was affecting his performances for Wales, missing out on playing consistent football for Los Blancos meant Bale’s fitness wasn’t up to standard, struggling to play at a high level for the full 90 minutes for his country.
But now that Bale has returned to Spurs, fans across the globe will hope to see the Welshman playing week in week out, and hopefully injury free.
The Premier League will devour to see the Gareth Bale we saw from 2011 to 2013, a player full of confidence, skill and excitement. But it could take time for Bale to adapt to the Premier League again, a league much more physical and fast paced than La Liga. Considering his recent lack of football, we should not expect Bale to hit the ground running.
With Bale playing consistently for Spurs, it will also be a boost for Wales, especially with the Euros taking place next summer. Bale has been central to Wales’ success since shining for Spurs, playing a crucial role in Euro 2016 and helping Wales qualify for the Euros in 2021.
His presence in the national team will be key for Wales, as he is without a doubt is one of the best players in the world when playing well.
Every football fan will be heavily invested in seeing the return of Bale when he eventually gets fit. Tottenham are paying a hefty amount in wages for his services, so will want to get him back in action as soon as possible. The red wall will certainly be one of those groups keeping heavy tabs on the Welshman’s performances in lilly-white, as they hope to see the kind of performances that made them fall in love with him all those years ago.