Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham Hotspur this summer on loan from Real Madrid was the story of the transfer window. It was HUGELY exciting for Spurs fans (and, you’d imagine, for Madridistas eager to get rid of him). However, although there’s an option in Bale’s contract that allows an extension of his North London stay, according to a report in the Times (£), the one year loan may be just that — one year.
It’s been an underwhelming season for Bale, who has only played 161 minutes of Premier League action so far this season and whose appearances have been mostly restricted to domestic cups and Europa League group stage matches. He’s had a couple of minor injuries, but hasn’t really been able to get off the bench under Jose Mourinho. When he HAS played he’s been decidedly underwhelming.
It just seems pretty clear at the moment that Gareth Bale is no longer GARETH BALE. Considering the amount of money Spurs are paying to keep him around, even subsidized by Madrid, there’s a question as to whether it’s worth extending his loan.
The report states that Bale continues to be an extremely popular member of the Tottenham squad and that Jose Mourinho is happy with his leadership and attitude. Bale too is loving his time back at Tottenham after a period of extreme unhappiness at Madrid. However, apparently a second year on loan is currently “not being considered at the moment” which brings up the question of what Bale will do in his immediate future.
One way he could address that would be to find a way to put his shooting boots back on. If he can stay healthy and start dominating matches again then it might change things. However, that would require that he first get on the pitch in the Premier League and start, y’know, doing stuff. Thus far he’s been mostly there for leadership and experience purposes, and not having much of an impact on the actual matches. For Daniel Levy, who must be feeling the financial pinch after a season of COVID-19 impacted incomes, practicality may eclipse sentimentality.