Can Gareth Bale still cut it in the Premier League?

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Tottenham Hotspur have been linked with a sensational move for Real Madrid star Gareth Bale. The Welshman moved from Southampton to Spurs as a fresh-faced 17-year-old in 2007 and enjoyed six goal-laden years at White Hart Lane, before moving onto Los Blancos in 2013 for a world record fee of £85.3m.

Since moving to Madrid, Bale has won four UEFA Champions League's, three FIFA Club World Cup's, two La Liga titles, two UEFA Super Cup's, one Copa del Rey and the Supercopa de EspaƱa.

However, in the last couple of seasons, the 31-year-old has fallen out of favour with Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane and seems more interested in playing golf – and was even seen playing a round, hours before a Madrid game.

Bale's agent, Jonathan Barnett, sent Spurs fans into a frenzy when he recently told BBC Sport Wales: "Gareth still loves Spurs, it's where he wants to be."

A loan move to Tottenham, who are often fancied in the betting exchange, seems the most likely scenario for Bale, as the club would have to foot his massive wages, which are currently around £600,000 a week at Madrid, whilst Spurs could also use Dele Alli as leverage for the deal to go through.

Using English international Alli as part of the deal would free up around £300,000 for Spurs to offer Bale a week, a massive pay cut, but something he is believed to be up for in order to salvage the last of his playing days.

But can the Welsh superstar still cut it in the Premier League? Let's take a look.

Bale's most successful season in a Spurs shirt was in his last term in North London. In the 2012-13 Premier League season, he scored 21 goals in 33 outings – which was enough to land him the league's Player of the Season accolade – whilst he also scored a further five goals across the FA Cup (1), League Cup (1), and the Champions League (3).

However, it's seven years since then, and last season Bale played just 16 games for Madrid in La Liga, scoring a mere two goals. When the Spanish top-flight resumed, after the coronavirus pandemic brought the football season to an abrupt halt, the Welsh international played just one match, and racked up just 100 minutes, as Madrid went on to win their first League title since 2017.

You could argue that Bale's form was off due to his ragged relationship with the Los Blancos manager, and at Spurs, he would be much happier. But, then again, current Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is a tough gaffer to get along with as well.

Bale may not have played a lot of football over the last couple of seasons, but, as we have seen in his performances for his country, he has remained in incredible shape, and still has that rapid pace in his locker, that would give most Premier League defenders nightmares.

Former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who managed Bale for the majority of his time at White Hart Lane, believes the 31-year-old would "be a fantastic" signing for Spurs.

"It would be great for Gareth to get back playing again. He's such a talent, such a great player. It's a waste to see him not playing." The winner of ITV's I'm a Celebrity... Get Me out of Here! told BBC Radio Wales.

"He could just turn Tottenham's season around - he's that good a player."

Spurs had a lacklustre start to the new season, losing 1-0 at home to Everton in their opening game, and we're sure the addition of Bale to their ranks would help kick the team into action.

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