Can Tottenham force Gareth Bale to stay?
The situation of Gareth Bale is more sensitive than any other major sagas that are dominating the transfer window. His is a special case, because the club chasing him is indeed special.
The Welshman has gone from strength to strength and his transformation from a scrawny teenager to a world class winger remarkably, since joining the North London club from Southampton in 2007.
Bale started his career as a left-back but slowly established himself as a winger. However, it was last season, under Andre Villas-Boas, he truly came of his age, and a lion share of credit should go to the Portuguese. The tactical and positional differences experimented on him, changed his game and took his game to a different altar. From a speedy winger running down the flanks, Bale emerged a true all-round player and most importantly, a match winner.
His phenomenal season didn’t go unnoticed and the stupendous Bale has been targeted by arguably the biggest club in the world – Real Madrid.
Frankly, it is hard for any player to refuse advances from Madrid. It is the ultimate destination for any player, unless you’re a die-hard Catalan or a Steven Gerrard-type rare guy. From that perspective, Bale’s wish to test his mettle at a better platform is not absurd, neither an insult to the club. Unlike Luis Suarez or Wayne Rooney, he is not going to any rival Premier League club, he is not mere tempted by Champions League – he is tempted by the romantic and glamorous aura of Madrid, which he feels is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity.
“If a player is desperate to leave, it’s very difficult to force him to stay,” said Sir Keith Mills. “We’ve seen it in other clubs. Even if he has a contract, you can’t force somebody to play for you.”
The club needs him badly, especially this season. Villas-Boas has yet to give up on him and still pressing that he won’t be sold. He is that important to this team. But, Bale has made up his mind already. It is not like he is a greedy bloke, self-centered and disloyal, but he wants to pursue his dream of playing alongside some of world’s best footballers, alongside whom he’s probably played on play station games.
Even Gerrard said regarding Suarez that it baffles him that the Uruguayan is opting to join Arsenal. He wouldn’t have budged had the offer come from Real Madrid.
It is a dream move for him and probably everyone at the North London realizes that. The respect intensifies as he hasn’t said anything bad, nasty, humiliating, about his club. Sir Alex Ferguson was helpless too, when Madrid came for Cristiano Ronaldo. Daniel Levy is helpless too. Only thing he can do here is a sensible and profitable business. And with £90 million odd burning hole in the pocket, Spurs can delve into transfer market to buy suitable replacements and give all their good wishes to the boy, who made them really proud.