Tottenham, Wales, Golf, Madrid – in that order

Soccer player Gareth Bale gestures to fans as he arrives at the training ground of Tottenham Hotspur in London, Friday Sept. 18, 2020. Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale is in London to complete his return to Tottenham. Bale left Tottenham for Madrid in 2013 for 100 million euros. Photo by Frank Augstein/AP Photo.

It’s a great time to be a Spurs fan. On Saturday, Tottenham Hotspur unveiled on social media not one, but two signings: left-back Sergio Reguilón on a five-year deal and the long-awaited return of Gareth Bale on a one-year loan (both from Real Madrid). 

Now I must say, as a Spurs fan, it’s quite surprising to see chairman Daniel Levy actually open up his checkbook for players of fairly big status like Reguilón and Bale. All jokes aside, these two are exactly who Jose Mourinho need for his project at Tottenham. Reguilón, to begin with, spent last season on loan at Sevilla, where he won the Europa League trophy and was named La Liga’s left-back of the year. Only costing the Spurs over $35 million with a buyback clause established by Madrid, the Spaniard will add much-needed depth to Tottenham’s defense. 

But the main player that everyone was talking about over the weekend was of course Bale. Arriving at White Hart Lane back in the summer of 2007, Gareth Bale made a name for himself and became one of the most prolific players of the Premier League at the time with 203 appearances, 56 goals and 58 assists; including a remarkable hat-trick against then-champions Inter Milan in 2010 and two PFA Player of the Year awards. In Sept. 2013, the Lilywhites sent him off for $110 million to the Spanish capitol, where he would secure multiple trophies. Now, seven years later, he has come full circle back to a different era in the North London club’s history. 

As I said already, Bale joined the squad but on a season-long loan. However, that loan could be extended an additional year, should all parties agree to the extension and Bale is content with his time at Tottenham. The question is: Will Bale give it his all to seek a second season at Spurs and run out the remainder of his Madrid contract which, funny enough, ends in two years? I say yes, easily.  

To begin with, most soccer fans are aware of his rather toxic relationship with the Madrid giants; which, I’ll admit, he deserves some of the blame for after not learning Spanish and basically trolling the Spanish side with the “Wales, Golf, Madrid, in that order” flag last year after qualifying for the Euros. But some of the elites at the Spanish club along with many fans have treated the Welshman very poorly, in my opinion, during his time there. For instance, he stated in an interview early in the summer that he’s tried to leave to other clubs, but Madrid always ended up blocking the transfers from happening. You might ask yourself, “Well if they blocked the transfers from happening, then Zinedine Zidane surely thought he had some purpose to the squad?” To that, I say not at all; Madrid chairman Florentino Pérez was reportedly very unhappy with the way Zidane took care of the Bale (and Reguilón) transfer, as he believed Bale could still be of good use. All in all, he probably enjoyed the money he racked up while at Madrid without playing a whole lot, but now he will likely try to fully burn the bridge with the club after all these years.  

Now the follow-up question Spurs fans have been asking: What will be the effect of Bale joining Mourinho’s Spurs? The answer: the possible departure of Dele Alli and less playing time for Lucas Moura. It’s still fairly early to say if Alli will leave Tottenham in the future for sure, but there have been reports in the past week that many European clubs, including PSG, are interested in signing the midfielder after Spurs signed Bale. As for Moura, having Bale replace him on the right-wing is a change I’m all for. Ever since his electric night in Amsterdam last year, I haven’t been too impressed with his performance when he’s in the starting 11; and I think Mourinho is starting to feel the same way. This change likely won’t happen until mid-October, as Bale picked up an injury while on international duty with Wales, so at least in the meantime Moura will get his regular playing time. 

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