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OFFICIALLY OFFICIAL! Gareth Bale returns to Tottenham Hotspur from Real Madrid on season-long loan


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Wales v Bulgaria - UEFA Nations League Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

HE’S BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK! Seven years after departing Tottenham Hotspur for Real Madrid for a then-world record transfer fee of £85m, Gareth Frank Bale has returned home, signing a one-season loan with Spurs for the 2020-21 season.

The club, obviously, was pleased to see him.

Details of the transfer are still coming out, but at the time of this article publishing it is a one year loan, with Real Madrid subsidizing a major part of Bale’s astronomical £600k/week wages. After some late reporting by Matt Law in the Telegraph, there is reportedly no loan fee, Spurs will be paying just £220k/week in wages with the rest paid by Madrid, and the total outlay for Tottenham will be under £9m. According to Dan Kilpatrick in the Standard, the deal also includes an option for a second year, which would take Bale through the end of his existing Real Madrid contract.

The acquisition of Bale is perhaps the most exciting Tottenham transfer since the club signed Rafael van der Vaart in 2010, and has had some fans comparing it to the signing of Jurgen Klinsmann in 1994. The 31 year old Bale is coming off a miserable stretch with Real Madrid that saw him relegated to mostly bench duty after falling out with manager Zinedine Zidane. Over the past few days, all sides sides saw an opportunity to make a change that would make everyone happy, and they took it.

For Real Madrid, they finally see the back of a player who has fallen out with the club, the manager, and the fans, and who has been outspoken about preferring to play golf and play for Wales than for his club team. For Tottenham, they get back a former player who was once one of the the biggest talents in world football, and even in the twilight of his career and with a checkered injury history can still change matches. For Bale, he gets an injection of excitement and motivation to play the game he loves at a club special to his heart in front of supporters who remember him (mostly) fondly.

It’s an almost unprecedented move from Tottenham and Daniel Levy, surprising not only for its ambition but also due to the expensive finances, coming at a time when there seemingly wasn’t much money to be spent. Bale hasn’t been GARETH BALE for a couple of years now, and there are open questions as to whether he can stay healthy for long enough to make a significant positive impact on the team this season. It’s a calculated gamble by Levy and Spurs.

But whether you think this is a good idea or a bad one, there’s no doubt that this is an emotional signing for Spurs. Our boy is coming home, and whether Tottenham achieve their goals or not, with Gareth Bale in the team there’s a pretty reasonable chance that Spurs are going to be more fun. That may be worth the cost on its own.

Welcome home, Gareth.