By Paul Jones
Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham will spark an immediate impact within Jose Mourinho’s squad, according to Wales manager Ryan Giggs.
Bale may have been on the sidelines at his new club as Spurs thrashed Southampton 5-2 at the weekend, but that may be only the start of a more lasting influence according to his international boss.
Reflecting on Bale’s loan move from Real Madrid, Giggs said: “It’s a huge boost when you see someone like that walk through the door.
“They got off to a disappointing start to the season, but to see him fit and firing, he will score goals, he’ll make assists, he’ll be a massive lift.”
Giggs always maintained a diplomatic and non-confrontational stance towards Madrid while Bale was part of their squad, in order to keep his captain’s release for international duty as frictionless as possible.
But it is clear that he believes having Bale so close to Cardiff will prove a significant boost for Wales, given the player looked destined to be based in China only 12 months ago.
That move fell through and when Giggs was asked by Premier League Productions television whether he considered his skipper’s move a benefit he added: “Yes – not as many trips to Madrid anymore. It will be great. He has Ben Davies there as a team-mate as well.
“It’s good to have him back in the Premier League. We want to see the best players in the world in the Premier League and it will be interesting to see how he does.
“They have so many good players at Tottenham. I am really looking forward to seeing how he does. It looks mouth-watering – Kane, Son and Bale.”
Bale is confident Mourinho can deliver trophies to Tottenham and is looking forward to working with the manager who tried to sign him twice previously.
Mourinho tried to bring the 31-year-old to the Bernabeu 12 months before he eventually arrived and then also wanted to sign him at Manchester United.
Bale, who will not be fit until October due to a knee injury, believes the Portuguese is the “perfect” man to help Spurs make that next step.
“I spoke to him prior to coming over obviously when we were speaking,” Bale said on BT Sport. “He’s spoken to me about a few positions that he would like me to play and obviously I’m happy with that.
“Obviously he’s a big key incumbent, he’s a household name, he’s a winner and I think he’s the perfect fit for Tottenham.
“We all want to win trophies and he knows how to better than anyone so hopefully this season can be that season. What every Tottenham fan wants is a trophy so we’ll be trying as hard as we can in every competition to do that.”
Bale endured a tough ending to his time at Madrid, falling out of favour under boss Zinedine Zidane and receiving plenty of criticism from fans and media.
He is coming back to a club where he is sure to feel the love and the 31-year-old thinks that will help him produce his best.
Before Bale arrived at Madrid, they hadn’t won a UCL for 12 years..
In his 7 years tenure there, he’s helped them to 4 European titles & single handedly won them the 2018 CL final alongside several La Liga’s and cups
…. and now he’s back home. pic.twitter.com/fkc8qOSl4z
— The Spurs Web ⚪️ (@thespursweb) September 18, 2020
“I’ve said in previous interviews that when I go back to Wales you feel that love, you feel that happiness and then you’re able to play your best football when you feel that love from the fans,” he said.
“Coming back here, knowing I was going to get a good reception – I love the club, I loved my time here, and to come back and feel that emotion, hopefully now we can kick on this season, try and win a trophy, if not two, and try and enjoy my football and try and give the fans something to smile about.
“There’s always pressure being a footballer, every performance is analysed, criticised and all this.
“I understand there’s going to be pressure and expectation but I feel like when I’m happy I play my best football and I feel like coming back here to Spurs I’m very happy, I already feel the love at the ground just being with the staff and the players and I feel like when I’m in that mindset my best football comes out and, if that’s the case, I have no worries and I just want to try and play and let my natural ability take over.”
Unreal 🙌🏼 https://t.co/cPYut4ret0
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) September 19, 2020
Despite the way his time ended in Spain, Bale still looks back with fondness having won so many trophies. “I’ve enjoyed it. I’ve said before I love living there, my family’s settled, my kids are happy and I’ve enjoyed being at the club,” he added.
“Obviously there’s ups and downs at every club wherever you go. Maybe the highs have been incredibly high and the lows maybe have been a bit lower but I’ve enjoyed my time there, I enjoyed playing for Real Madrid and achieving what we achieved, achieving what I achieved.
“But it’s time for the next chapter in my career. I want to continue to win trophies and I want to do it with Tottenham.”