Tottenham have sealed the return of Gareth Bale from Real Madrid with the winger rejoining the north London side on a season-long loan deal.
Bale spent six years with Spurs before joining Real Madrid in a world-record deal seven years ago, where he has since enjoyed a wealth of success including winning four Champions League titles and scoring more than a century of goals.
The Welshman has, however, endured a difficult period of late after falling out-of-favour at the Bernabeu, becoming an increasingly peripheral and unwanted figure as Zinedine Zidane made it clear the 31-year-old was not part of his plans.
The arrival of Bale is a huge statement of intent for Spurs, the winger twice named as the PFA Player of the Year before his world record-breaking move to the Spanish capital.
The Telegraph have reported that Bale’s return will set Spurs back £9 million in wages, the north London club paying just 36 per cent (£220,000) of the wingers £600,000-a-week salary during his time back at the club.
“It’s nice to be back!” Bale told the Tottenham website. “This is such a special club to me. It’s where I made my name. What an amazing club, amazing fans, and it’s just incredible to be back. Hopefully now I can get some match fitness, help the team and win trophies.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) September 19, 2020
“I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back, and the opportunity has now arisen. I feel like it’s a good fit, it’s a good time for me, I’m hungry, I’m motivated, I want to do well and can’t wait to get started.”
Spurs are without a major trophy since 2008, and Bale is hoping to bring a ‘winning mentality’ to the north London club following his own silverware-laden spell in Madrid.
“I think by going to Madrid, winning trophies and going far with the national team, I feel like I have that winning mentality, how to win trophies,” he added.
“You don’t realise until you are there, in those situations, in finals, and knowing how to deal with those situations, the nerves, the pressure, and that all comes with experience.
“Hopefully, I’ll bring that to the dressing room, bring that belief that we can win a trophy, and the time to do that is this season, and not just one, to be fighting on every front possible. I want to bring that mentality back to Tottenham.
“Let’s enjoy ourselves along the way as well.”
Bale’s name had tentatively been linked with a move to Manchester United, the Wales international said to be have been lined up as a potential alternative to Jadon Sancho, although a move from the Red Devils never materialised.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 19, 2020
Bale will add an injection of creativity and attacking quality to a side which has looked short of imagination under Jose Mourinho, though his injury record will be a concern with the star having been plagued by fitness issues throughout his career to date.
A fully fit and firing Bale will undoubtedly add a new dimension to the Spurs attack, however, with the clubs fans now hugely anticipating the former favourite lining up alongside the likes of Harry Kane and Son-Heung Min.
Bale – who will wear the number 9 shirt – scored 105 goals in 251 appearances for Real Madrid over the past seven seasons and will now hope to bounce back from a frustrating period in familiar surroundings at Tottenham.
Spurs also confirmed the signing of left-back Sergio Reguilon, also from Real Madrid, the 23-year-old having impressed on loan at Sevilla.