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Gareth Bale is renowned as one of the best Welsh players in modern football. His former club Tottenham Hotspur enjoyed a brilliant run with him, following which the player joined reigning European champions Real Madrid. Although he has established himself as a mainstay for the club, Bale did see a reduction in playing time due to him being in and out because of injuries. However, the sensational Welshman has won 3 Champions League titles in 4 years with Real Madrid and that itself goes on to show how his time in Spain has been.
Bale’s stock continues to rise, and he is now being linked with a possible return to the Premier League. When Spurs allowed him to leave the club, Daniel Levy included a first option clause in his deal, which could see the North London club receive an upper-hand if he chooses to move back to England. Manchester United are also interested in Bale, and if they were to submit a bid, Tottenham will have a window of 72 hours to match the amount – case in which the Real Madrid superstar will have to go back to his former club.
Both clubs will be lucky to sign him, but which club would work better in Bale’s interest?
At this point in his career, Bale is likely to prefer joining a club where he can be the main striker. During his tenure at the Spanish club, Bale had to play second fiddle to Cristiano Ronaldo on most occasions. At Tottenham, however, he thrived in a role which saw him assume all the control when it came to being the spearhead of the attack. At 28 years of age, Bale is unlikely to want to join a club where he would have to compete regularly for a starting spot.
As far as Spurs are concerned, it doesn’t look like Harry Kane is going anywhere anytime soon. They also have Son Heung-Min, who has proven to be quite an able deputy in the past. Of course, Mauricio Pochettino could always tweak his formation to play with two strikers – and a duo of Bale and Kane up front does sound extremely enticing.
On the flip side, Bale has spent most of his time as a right-winger for Real Madrid. Christian Eriksen and Son Heung-Min often play in that role for Tottenham. With Bale in the mix, however, Pochettino could also deploy him on the right wing with Harry Kane as the central striker, and Eriksen on the left wing. Bale can also play on the left wing, so it would certainly provide the manager with some flexibility in assigning roles up front.
At Manchester United, Bale could have a better chance of being the main man. Although the Red Devils’ summer acquisition Romelu Lukaku fared quite well initially, the Belgian has seen his power wane in recent times. His goals appear to have dried up and the player is truly struggling in front of goal. Hence, with a player like Bale in the ranks, Jose Mourinho could rely on him as the main striker while using Lukaku as a deputy.
While United seem like the better fit given the situation, the fact still remains that Spurs can trigger the first option clause and attempt to match any bid made by the Red Devils. However, keeping that aside, it does seem like Old Trafford needs Bale’s incisive football more than Tottenham do at this point.