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Graeme Souness questions why Tottenham would sign Gareth Bale despite winger's two-goal display

Published on: 08 March 2021

Graeme Souness is still unconvinced that Tottenham will turn Gareth Bale's loan spell into a permanent deal despite the Welshman's latest goalscoring showing in the 4-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Bale swept home Harry Kane's cross for the opener on 25 minutes before putting Spurs back in front just after the break with a powerful close-range header after Kane had nodded back into the danger area.

Bale left the pitch on 70 minutes with the hosts 3-1 up and now has nine goals in his last 15 games across all competitions, including four strikes in his last Premier League matches after his double against Burnley last Sunday.

Speaking after the game to Sky Sports, the 31-year-old said: 'It takes a bit of time sometimes but I'm experienced enough to be patient.

'You have to feel good and then take the opportunities. You can go through bad form and good form so it's about being patient and when you get your chance trying to take it.

'I'm not 21 any more. I'm just going to keep working hard and take each game as it comes.'

Despite his two-goal display, Sky Sports pundit Souness criticised Bale for taking a while to get up to speed and his overall attitude this season, and felt he was making excuses by referring to his age.

'If I'm him, I'm knocking on the door, telling him, 'I'm ready.' We were getting pictures of him on the bench uninterested, not bothered, smiling with his team-mates (earlier in the season).

'We're 11 games out. He's been here all season. I just expected more from him. I'm an enormous fan of Gareth Bale when he's playing football. I'm greedy, I just want to see more of him.

'Those words he came out (with), 'I'm not 21 anymore', 'the body gets tired.' We've all been 31.

'Your career finishes too quickly when you're a football player and I'd like him to have a pint of enthusiasm more than he's showing. He's so talented. How many games has he played?

'Gareth Bale is a worldie but Mourinho is saying he's fragile.

'Would Spurs be willing to take the gamble of taking a fragile Bale beyond this year?I'm not sure given the wages he would want.

'Where does he go, going forward?'

Fellow pundit Micah Richards was more optimistic about Bale extending his second spell in N17.

'You're always going to think about happiness, but at the same time it's a short career. He seems happy at Spurs. He's happy playing,' he said.

'Every footballer wants to play football. He wants to play. He's at a stage now where he needs to manage his body.

'I think he could stay at Spurs. I think he would take a pay cut to stay.'

Roy Keane meanwhile cited the work ethic of one of Bale's former team-mates to act as inspiration for the Real Madrid loanee.

'It's been a good week for Tottenham. At some stage you want Bale to play 90 minutes, tonight could have been the ideal opportunity. If he gets 90 minutes under his belt that will give him confidence.'

'If you're looking at Bale, he's only 31. Their next game is Thursday. At some stage as a footballer you need to play 90 minutes.'

'He has worked with Ronaldo. He must look at Ronaldo’s situation and see what Ronaldo does. He plays the games and Ronaldo’s about 35.'

Tottenham's next game is the first leg of their round-of-16 clash at home to Dinamo Zagreb on Thursday before the north London derby on Sunday.


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