There’s enough evidence, after weighing out all factors of Gareth Bale‘s loan stint, to compel Tottenham to keep him for another season.
This topic, like a number of others currently swirling around the club, starkly divides opinion. Bale, like Tottenham, endured a topsy turvy campaign. His performances weren’t consistently excellent enough to guarantee his place in Tottenham next season.
But based on what he saw, and the extenuating circumstances that hampered the initial period of his return to north London, Bale has done enough to stay at Spurs for another season.
The first few months of his return to Spurs were headlined by injury woes and fitness concerns. But Bale recovered in the second half of the season and found his goal-scoring form. He scored 11 top flight goals, 10 of which coming in the last three months.
He finished as Tottenham’s third leading goalscorer, an impressive feat considering he only made 20 appearances. His goal rate was remarkable, scoring more than a goal every two matches. Only Harry Kane had a better goal-per-match ratio. Bale, based on chances and minutes played, was only expected to score 5.80 goals this season. He almost doubled that statistical prediction.
Tottenham also benefitted massively when Bale scored, enjoying a 100 percent winning record when the Welshman bagged at least one goal.
Nine of his 11 goals were scored at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, a total you’d expect he’ll surpass when supporters are welcomed back into the stadium next season. Oh, and his final two goals against Leicester secured Tottenham’s place in next season’s UEFA Europa Conference League.
Without Harry Kane, who will probably end up at Manchester City, to score the bulk of Tottenham’s goals, a player who scores in bunches will be immeasurably important.
Yes, there are also compelling reasons not to extend Bale’s stint at Spurs, including the financial toll his contract embodies, though securing Tottenham’s place in Europe next season slightly alleviates that burden. Bale also found it difficult to influence matches against elite sides, his brace against Leicester his only two goals coming against a side in the top half of the table.
However, an unshackled Bale, if he can remain healthy and fit for the entire season, represents guaranteed goals and, based on this year’s results, an incredibly high winning percentage when he finds the net.