Gareth Bailing Out?

Another day has passed, and so tons more Tottenham related rumours have hit the Lane. Most (if not all) of them will turn out to be false but I’ll take a quick look at them here.

The main rumour of the day is the one I’ve referenced to in the title- Gareth Bale leaving the club. Ajax have been linked to him in the past and now European giants AC Milan are reportedly keen on the left back, so too are their Seria A rivals as well as (the slightly less glamorous) Birmingham City.

It’s certainly a mixed bag of clubs; Juventus and AC Milan are two of Italy’s biggest teams, and both have an illustrious UEFA Champions League history, with the two clubs clashing in the 2003 final. Ajax are now managed by Martin Jol, the man who bought Bale to the Lane, and it’s no secret that BMJ is one of Bale’s biggest fans. Predictably Birmingham want to take Bale on loan for a season, but the club are apparantly keen on making that loan move permanent if they get the option.

Bale’s agent has been trying to drum up a bit of business, telling journalists of Milans apparent interest and also of Bale’s excitement at the potential switch. It’s hardly surprising that Bale would consider a move away, after all he is the clubs second choice left back after Benoit Assou-Ekotto and has struggled with fitness whilst at the lillywhites.

To the fans disappointment, Bale hasn’t broken into the starting X1 since his transfer



Despite his problems though, I would still be very disappointed if ‘Arry let Bale go. If Milan were to offer a bid in the region of £12 million I’d be gutted if we accepted. With the price of players getting ever more extortionate, it makes no sense to sell a promising player for that amount. Levy proved with Darren Bent that he is a skilled negotiator, and also played hardball with Manchester United over Dimitar Berbatov, eventually taking over £30 million for the lazy Bulgarian. If a club were to make a bid for Bale, expect Levy to demand a lot more than the first offer.

But still, it would take a hefty bid for Bale to nullify my disappointment. When Bale joined, he was touted as one of the most promising players to emerge from Wales and tipped to become one of Europe’s best left backs. And whilst he has had a few good games in white (such as when he scored a fantastic freekick against Arsenal) he’s never really delivered on that potential.

My preferred move would be to let Bale join Birmingham on loan. That way Bale would get Premier League experience (as long as he stayed fit) and hopefully overcome his injury proneness. Whilst Assou-Ekotto was one of our best players last season and is incredibly important to our 2009/2010 campaign, I can’t imagine he’ll be as good in three years as a fully fit, more experienced Gareth Bale. The Bale transfer from Southampton was a bit of a coup and many were excited by his arrival. Let’s just hope he doesn’t leave in the same air of wasted potential that surrounded players such as Chris Gunter and Darren Bent.

Chris Gunter might have got his hands on some silverware whilst at the Lane, but didn’t become the player many thought he would be

Another player who has failed to capitalise on his potential is Mexican winger Giovani Dos Santos. When he arrived from Barcelona last summer, probably more people were excited by his arrival than of Luka Modric’s, but the youngster hasn’t broke into the first team like Modric, who has gone on to become one of Tottenham’s most important players.

I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Gio, so I was pleased to see his potential move to Turkish outfit Besiktas wasn’t permanent. The winger ended last year on loan to Ipswich Town where he played well, and has since put in blistering displays for Mexico. I don’t really see why Gio needs to go on loan again (and if ‘Arry is so determined to loan him out, can’t he loan him out to a Premier League/Championship side?), he is in good form and our squad is already looking a little small. I think it would be more beneficial to give Dos Santos a few starts from the bench and play him in the Carling Cup, rather then let him play in the Turkish League. We also have no other left sided midfielders if Modric is injured, so it would be handy to have Dos Santos close at hand.

He might have played for the best team in the world, but Gio also played for Barcelona

It’s slightly worrying that whenever our club signs a young, hyped-up player his career seems to fizzle out in disappointment. Our close rivals Arsenal sign up tons of youngsters and nearly all (Walcott, Van Persie, Reyes, Fabregas) come to fruition and become great players. It leaves you wondering whether there is a coaching issue at the club, or whether our youngsters simply aren’t given enough time to develop. Only one player we signed young (Aaron Lennon) has broken into the current first team, with one other starting occasionally (Tom Huddlestone). If we ever are to really challenge the top four, we need to make sure our young signings our given enough time to settle in before they are moved on. As Sir Alex proved, you can’t win anything without youngsters.

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