On Wednesday morning, Jose Mourinho’s appointment at Tottenham wasn’t the only thing catching attention. Gareth Bale unfurling a banner that poked fun at Real Madrid was something else that went viral. The common thread was one- Tottenham Hotspur.
And perhaps, it was only a coincidence that reports did link Bale with a Spurs move later in the day. AS in Spain said that Mourinho wants Bale as his first signing and the Portuguese was also keen on signing him during his tenure at Manchester United.
The report goes onto say that Mourinho wants to revitalise his Spurs side using Bale. And that the Welshman has witnessed a devaluation in his value over the last few months.
At first glance, it does make sense. Every new manager is usually given some new, flashy toys to play with. Quite like how Mourinho got Paul Pogba, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic at Old Trafford.
And Bale has the pace and power that won Spurs many matches before the summer of 2013. That has also won Real Madrid many matches since the summer of 2013. But since those days, a lot has undergone a change.
Tottenham have changed, Bale’s situation and become different. The way his agent Jonathan Barnett deals with things has become different. He is very direct, open and undeterred about things.
Right after the recent banner incident with Wales, Barnett had a lot to say. He told Talksport: “It is beyond ridiculous.”
He has been very open about Bale’s situation. That hasn’t helped Madrid at all. It has created frictions between the player, the club and the fans. In fact, former boss Carlo Ancelotti has already said that this plank of contention was one big reason for his sacking.
That situation would be very familiar for Mourinho. At United, his relationship with Paul Pogba had broken down. He was stripped off captaincy. A training ground incident went public. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola had publicly criticised the club for their treatment of his client too.
He knows that player power has become the norm in the game today. He knows of the risks involved in taking on players who have considerable backing from agents. Bale is exactly that sort of character.
But something Harry Redknapp recently said should resonate far and wide. He told Talksport (via Daily Mail):
“What a signing he’d be for the club. What a signing. That would get fans on side straight away, the fans would love that. That would be an amazing move for him.”
Many Spurs fans aren’t best pleased with the club’s decision to bring in Jose. But getting a club legend like Bale would get Mourinho the fans on his side. It will bring a feel-good atmosphere at a club where it has seemed like doom and gloom in recent months.
In that case, a temporary loan deal would make perfect sense. Mourinho would not have to deal with the tantrums of his agent. He will have a legendary figure back. And someone who will add extra goals to the side. That will boost their chances for getting to top-four.
While Bale has missed 56 games due to injury since the start of the 2016-17 season, the quality can’t be questioned. In just six games this season, he has contributed to four goals.
In the La Liga last season, he had 29 appearances to his name. But had a goal-involvement of 12. Despite all the problems on and off the pitch, the quality hasn’t budged much.
Bale would add physicality and power to that attack. His sound workrate matches what Mourinho wants. He fits right into a counter-attacking system in which he has to get on the ball and move it forward to players like Harry Kane, Son Heung-Min and Lucas Moura.
For a club that has always been known for slipping up at crucial moments, Bale would add his quality to cover up for that failure. He has won trophies- like Mourinho. That is just what the new manager wants but on a loan deal only.
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