Has Bale’s Return Been a Success or Disappointment?
When it was announced that Gareth Bale was returning to Tottenham on loan until the end of the season, there was a real excitement in North London that the Welshman could help lift the club back to the top end of the table.
It now looks unlikely that the former hero will remain with the club further than this season as he has announced he will return to his parent club Real Madrid this summer. Has his second spell with Spurs been a success or disappointment? We’ve taken a look at the numbers to come up with an answer to that question.
Bale Overshadowed by Kane And Son
At the time of writing (06.05.21), Bale had scored 14 goals in 29 appearances this season. Although that is a valuable contribution, it’s a long way behind the numbers put up by Harry Kane and Son Heung-min who have scored over 50 between them this campaign.
Kane now has English Premier League odds of 4/5 to finish the season as the league’s top goal scorer. Those odds reflect just what kind of campaign the England captain has had. It was always going to be difficult for Bale to match that.
In his last spell with Spurs before moving to Real Madrid, Bale netted 21 times in the Premier League and on 26 occasions in all competitions. He has only once hit 20 goals for the campaign in the last seven years.
Mourinho Didn’t Trust Bale Enough
Under former boss Jose Mourinho, Bale was not a regular starter in his team. He was often used off the bench to change the game in the last 20 minutes. This suggests his former boss did not fully trust the Welsh international.
Some Tottenham fans have taken exception to comments made by Bale who declared he made the loan move to get some football under his belt before the European Championship this summer. Many Spurs supporters believe he has not been dedicated enough to help his former club have success on the pitch.
Since picking up the reins from Mourinho, interim head coach Ryan Mason has started Bale in most of the games he has been in charge of. Bale rewarded his boss with a goal in their 2-1 victory over Southampton, as well as a hat-trick against Sheffield United. Unfortunately for the on-loan Real Madrid man, he did not make the starting XI for the Carabao Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.
There are still enough games left in the season for Tottenham’s number nine to shine. With a top four spot in the Premier League up for grabs, now would be a great time for him to find his best game.
It’s a fair conclusion to say the Bale Tottenham have had this season is a shadow of the player who flourished at the club over eight years ago. However, it would be unfair to say his move has been a complete failure. Expect both parties to move on next season with Bale fighting for a starting spot in Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid team.