He single-handedly ripped Newcastle United apart at the weekend as Tottenham Hotspur recorded a 2-1 win in the English Premier League, but how much longer will we see the genius of Gareth Bale strut his stuff at White Hart Lane?
By Marc Eadie – @Eadie84
Bale may have signed a contract until 2016 but that operates as nothing other than an insurance policy for Spurs so they get their full money’s worth if the winger looks set to leave. And how much would that be? Well, relative to current transfer fees, you would imagine Spurs could easily command £30 million plus. The Welshman is showing an ability that simply won’t go unnoticed by all the top teams in the game. The way he strides goal-ward over distance with the ball at his feet is frightening and you’d be hard pushed to find many better in the world at exploding forward at the pace he does.
Spurs would love to keep him but they have to be realistic. Bale has been that good over the past three seasons that he could play for most sides in the world. Given that Andre Vilas-Boas’ side aren’t currently challenging for major trophies like the Premier League or the UEFA Champions League it is almost guaranteed that Bale will want, if not expect himself, to be competing for such honours in the coming years. It seems inevitable that he’ll leave this summer if the right offer comes in but who would look to spend the money required for his services?
Manchester United, maybe? Sir Alex Ferguson spent big on Robin Van Persie last summer and it looks to have paid off as the striker has adapted immediately and scored important goals that have helped United build a 12-point cushion over second-placed Manchester City. What United have perhaps lacked is that creative midfielder that they have sought since Paul Scholes dropped further back down the pitch. And while Bale is not of the same mould he would certainly offer that spark of invention. With Nani disappointing and Shinji Kagawa not quite playing the part many may would have expected, I don’t think Sir Alex would bat an eyelid should he be given the greenlight to bid for Bale. He could play wide left with the freedom to roam in-field and link up with Van Persie and Wayne Rooney which, to be quite honest, could be an unstoppable force.
Should it not be the red half of Manchester there is always their rich rivals City or indeed the equally wealthy Paris Saint Germain in Ligue 1 who I’m sure wouldn’t say no. A move to Real Madrid wouldn’t be out of the question with the current La Liga champions looking to strengthen after what has so far been a poor season domestically by their standards. Not bad hypothetical options but when it comes down to it, where will Gareth Bale be this time next year? It probably won’t be at Tottenham, that’s for sure.
Where would Gareth Bale go? Are there any teams he would specifically suit? Tweet us @talkingbaws or comment below. Watch out for Nicky Boyle’s blog tomorrow.