Last year you’d have felt fairly comfortable naming Gareth Bale as one of the best wingers in Europe, and not been entirely surprised if Tottenham had a hard job keeping hold of the Welsh wide-man, but I think a fair few people also would have speculated that he was beginning to plateau as a player after a burst of development. However, like the goal scoring phenomenon that is Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale seems determined to continually improve year-on-year, apparently very happy in his training, and has taken his game to a new level this season.
Last year he managed nine goals and four assists in his 36 matches for Tottenham, and this term has already yielded sixteen goals and two assists in just 24 matches, demonstrating a level of progress rarely seen in the Premier League, where the minimum requirements are already very high. If there has been a black spot for him personally it would be the number of cautions he has received for simulation, with another one against Inter ruling him out of the second leg, but from a club point of view nothing could be better, save the existence of the summer transfer window.
Speculation will always surround top players, with only Bayern and Barcelona seemingly immune to having key men touted around, and with Bale not in the Champions League it is natural there will be a degree of that, but he signed a new contract in the summer and may be looking at another pay rise if he stays in North London for another year. Of course I mean Spurs when I say that, but if you are mischievous enough you can get 33/1 on Arsenal being his next club, as unlikely as that seems, if for no other reason than the fact it would represent a step sideways at present.
It is Real Madrid who have been linked most often with a move for Bale, and VictorChandler make them 2/1 favourites to sign him in the summer, while Bet365 have 6/4 on the slightly longer-term next club option. VictorChandler have 14/1 on him going to City in the summer, the move I think makes the most sense at this point in time, with probably champions Manchester United at 12’s and SkyBet offering 18’s on Barcelona, but don’t rule out him staying with Tottenham, especially if they make the Champions League spots.
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