Bale an expensive gamble that hasn't paid off for Tottenham


There was huge excitement among the Tottenham fanbase when it became clear that Gareth Bale was going to be returning to north London last summer. Spurs had been heavily linked with a move for the forward for a number of years prior to striking a deal with Real Madrid that saw him rock up on Seven Sisters Road once more. 


'He was born to play for Spurs' was the chant that rang out around White Hart Lane on more than one occasion prior to his big money move to Los Blancos in 2013 and supporters have been pining for his return ever since. Following an eight-year absence, the dream became reality as Bale joined along with Real Madrid teammate Sergio Reguilon. 


The duo were two of seven first team signings for Spurs over the summer, reminiscent of the seven players the club signed back in 2013 with the money raised from Bale's sale. However, while supporters have been longing for the Welshman's return, there are those wondering whether it was even worth the hassle. 


Injuries have, as one might have guessed, hindered his impact at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and it means Bale has made just six league appearances this season, with his start against Brighton on Sunday night just his second under Jose Mourinho. All in all, things haven't gone quite according to plan for Bale in his second stint in the capital. 


Alongside Son Heung-Min and Harry Kane, Spurs were tipped to have the most potent frontline in the Premier League and while the former pair have lived up to the billing - only Mohamed Salah (15) has scored more goals than Son and Kane (both 12) in England's top tier this term - Bale has just one league goal to show for his efforts having failed to oust Steven Bergwijn from the starting XI. 


Admittedly a lack of game time hasn't aided Bale's cause, but even so, the Wales international has mustered just seven shots in his six league outings this season, and didn't manage one in the 1-0 loss to Brighton on Sunday night before being hauled off on the hour mark. Disappointingly, too, is that the 31-year-old has completed just four dribbles and created five goalscoring chances in the Premier League upon his return to Spurs. 


Bale an expensive gamble that hasn't paid off for Tottenham


The cup competitions are where Mourinho has routinely looked to Bale, with eight of 10 starts coming in the Europa League, Carabao Cup and FA Cup, and six of those have come in the former. But even so, the forward has found the back of the net just once despite ample opportunities to build up some momentum to force his way into the reckoning for regular game time. 


A pro to Bale's return is that he is the only Spurs player to have scored in all four competitions they have participated in this season, yet with just four goals to his name, the player looks a shadow of his former Spurs self. "Seriously this loan [has] been a disaster," former teammate Jamie O'Hara tweeted on Sunday night and it's hard to argue with the ex-Spurs man's assessement of Bale's time back at the club. 


Next up for this out of sorts Spurs side is the welcome of Chelsea on Thursday night and on a run of two wins from nine, the north London side's prospects don't look great as they gear up to resume rivalries with the Blues. It is in these tight clashes that Bale would come trumps and conjure up a moment of magic to haul Spurs to victory, as he so often did in 2012/13, with late winners over West Ham, Southampton and Sunderland in the second half campaign prime examples. 


However, in the present day, Bale is a passenger who is struggling to muster up those match winning moment in games, with his fairytale return to Spurs turning to a nightmare and after wasting his chance to impress against Brighton, particularly in the absence of Kane, it's time to concede that Bale's time back in London has proven an expensive gamble that hasn't paid off.

Bale an expensive gamble that hasn't paid off for Tottenham