A former Spurs boss is looking forward to seeing the Welshman return to his old stomping ground after seven years in Spain
Harry Redknapp has expressed his belief that with the addition of Bale, Tottenham’s front three are now as good as Liverpool’s.
Bale returned to Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid in September, having left the club for a world-record fee back in 2013.
The Welshman has picked up two La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns during his time at Santiago Bernabeu, while firing over 100 goals in all competitions, but he is no longer an important part of Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
The 31-year-old has been given the chance to reignite his career at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and could line up for Jose Mourinho’s side for the first time when they play host to West Ham on Sunday.
Spurs have made a strong start to the 2019-20 campaign, with a 6-1 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford before the international break underlining their top-four credentials, and will be expected to close the gap on league leaders Everton by picking up another three points against the Hammers.
Reining champions Liverpool failed to gain ground on their Merseyside neighbours after drawing 2-2 at Goodison Park on Saturday, despite goals from Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, who have been a part of arguably the most dangerous attacking trio in Europe alongside Roberto Firmino in recent years.
Redknapp thinks Spurs will boast a forward line that is every bit as potent as the Reds’ when Bale lines up next to Harry Kane and Son Heung-min, and has backed the Madrid loanee to prove he can still deliver the goods at the highest level.
“All being well, Gareth Bale will today play his first game in a season-long loan back in N17. And we should all be rubbing our hands at the prospect… I know I certainly am,” the ex-Spurs boss told The Sun.
“What a forward line Jose Mourinho has got now – Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Bale. In my book that stands in comparison alongside Liverpool’s – and any around, in fact.
“Imagine if you’re a defender and you see those three names on the teamsheet. It’s mouth-watering for most but knee-trembling for anyone trying to stop them.
“I’ve heard people saying that the Bale we see now won’t be a patch on the one who left Spurs for Real Madrid seven years ago, but I’m not having that.
“Gareth is a naturally fit lad and looks after himself. And even if he has lost half a yard of pace, possibly even a yard, so what?
“He was that quick he’ll still be faster than 90 per cent of those he comes up against.”
Redknapp went on to compare Bale with his former Madrid team-mate Ronaldo, who now plies his trade in Italy with Juventus, while insisting there is far more to his game than just speed in the final third.
“There is so much of Gareth’s game that reminds me of Ronaldo. It’s scary how good he is,” he added. “Bale can pick the ball up on the edge of his own box and before you know it, he’s beaten half-a-dozen players and is in the opposition one.
“But it’s not all about pace, so forget any idea that he won’t be half the player if he’s not as fast as before. His left foot is like a sledgehammer and he’ll smash a few in from 30 yards, for sure.
“And, like Ronaldo, the rest of his game is so good that you forget how dangerous he is in the air, too.
“Oh, and one more thing for anyone who thinks that at 31 Bale is over the hill: He’s four years younger than Ronaldo, so he’s hardly drawing his pension.”