BBC pundits Alan Shearer, Gary Lineker and Micah Richards spoke about Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham Hotspur on loan last season.
The Welshman will always be a fan favourite at Tottenham. He has given Spurs supporters memories that will last a lifetime, and many expected him to hit the same heights when he returned on loan last season as well.
However, Bale, like most of his teammates, didn’t set the stage on fire. He still managed to score 16 goals in all competitions, but his performances were nothing like the player who made Real Madrid smash the transfer record for him all those years ago.
Shearer, Lineker and Richards discussed Bale’s return and the former believes that Mourinho never really wanted him. That could well be the reason why he didn’t fire Spurs to success last term.
Soeaking on the Match of the Day: Top 10 podcast on BBC, Shearer began saying: “I got the feeling that Jose never really wanted him.”
Richards added: “They (Spurs) wanted to bring in someone to say that they were challenging. He was just a different player. When he played on the right and cutting in on the left, he wasn’t as devastating as we’ve seen him in the past. He looked technical. I thought he did really well.”
Lineker said: “In terms of romantic returns, his one, in particular, there were no supporters, were they? He missed that. He would’ve had that adulation from the fans. I think there was a few games towards the end, but he didn’t have that opening day, imagine that new stadium was full and Gareth Bale walked out.”
Shearer concluded: “We did an FA Cup live last season and I remember Gareth Bale and I was just looking at him sat on the bench and he looked a lonely figure and it just doesn’t look right that it was him sat on the bench with the career that he’s had. He’s not that old, is he?”
Bales numbers weren’t terrible by any means, but he had set very high standards in the Premier League and that was always going to be difficult to match.
Many felt Tottenham would sign him on a permanent deal this summer, but he returned to Real Madrid, which is arguably the best thing for both parties. He has one goal in three starts under Carlo Ancelotti in Spain this season.