Tottenham Hotspur team-mate Luka Modric has urged Gareth Bale to join him at Real Madrid, believing he would make the perfect counterpart to Cristiano Ronaldo on the opposite flank.

In the Premier League, the Welsh winger has been in hot form again this year, with six goals already to his name as well as an assist. Although just 23-years-old, Bale has been improving year upon year, and the suggestion from Modric that he should move to a bigger club sparks an interesting debate. Has Gareth Bale simply outgrown Tottenham – a team that currently plays in the Europa league, and certainly have strong competition to finishing fourth? A dive into the stats should help clear things up.

Bale is certainly a Champions League player, he proved that with his exceptional display against Inter Milan a few years ago, where he ran riot on the left flank against Maicon – an experienced defender who is a World Cup winner. Furthermore, he has often become talismanic at times for Spurs. For example, it is no coincidence that the Welshman was the only player capable of making a difference for Tottenham after Adebayor’s sending off during the North London derby. His second half goal, in which he penetrated the Arsenal half with his direct pace and dribbling, before producing a tidy and accurate finish into the bottom corner with his weaker foot is in many ways a trademark goal for Bale.

It seems a long time ago since Bale arrived at White Hart Lane from Southampton for £5million, at which time he was considered to be a left-back as opposed to a left-winger. He was best known for his free-kicks, which is another asset that the 23-year-old has in his locker. Since then his turn of pace and his dribbling control has greatly improved, and along with his technical ability has made him a serious goal threat. The Cardiff-born winger has a shot accuracy of 52%, which is on par with the likes of Wayne Rooney, Demba Ba, Michu, Robin van Persie and team-mate Jermain Defoe. But furthermore, that is hardly the only part of Bale’s game.

He is also the seventh best crosser in the league, with a success rate of 20% – which sounds low, but is comparably quite high – despite the fact he has spent much of the season with mainly Jermain Defoe to aim at, and considering he has attempted over 100 crosses already in just fifteen games. It is a better return than any of the Chelsea attackers, and is mainly overshadowed by full-backs and central midfielders who often have more space to cross from. In total, Bale has created 32 scoring chances this season, the tenth best in the league.

Back to Bale’s defensive roots – he should not only be considered an attacker. Unlike many of his other counterparts, the Welshman can tackle and anticipate the game well while his team is defending, and then has enough speed and acceleration to quickly advance on the break, or join the attack from a more defensive position. He has made twenty interceptions this season, with a tackle success rate of 68%, and is statistically much better in the air than the majority of Premier League wingers.

It would be wrong to suggest that the Tottenham man doesn’t come with faults. His incessant diving has agitated fans and referees, and despite being incredibly athletic, he often comes across weak and lacking in passion when it comes to stern challenges. Similarly, his passing is questionable at times, with a 68% passing completion rate in the final third, and 78% completion rate for passing overall – not the best for an attacking midfielder.  He is also often inconsistent, sometimes with a dribbling success rate of 50% or more, but in other games failing to gallop past a single opponent and his work-rate off the ball is also sometimes lacking.

Perhaps suggesting he has outgrown Tottenham is somewhat harsh on a club who performed well last season and are currently lying in fourth place. But Bale is an important aspect of that team, despite his young age, and cannot drive the team on by himself. My main argument is quite simple – Gareth Bale’s abilities are rarely limited by his opposition, proved by the fact he has scored against Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool this season. His pace, skill and technique make him a constant danger to any defence, and he has the ability to score goals as well as create chances from either out wide or the middle. Furthermore, he can contribute defensively, although that side of his game has somewhat diminished as he takes on greater attacking responsibility.

Bale is improving year on year, and considering he already has six goals to his name, will no doubt beat his total last season of ten, but has some way to go before matching his assists tally of eleven. I do believe however, Bale’s departure from White Hart Lane is not a matter of if but when, and is likely to happen sooner or later. I’ve always viewed him as a Manchester United player, but should the Spanish giants come calling, it is hard to imagine the young Welshman will be able to resist.

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  • yid
    2 years ago

    YAWN!

    Reply
    • SP
      2 years ago

      WINNER

      Reply
  • JustASpur
    2 years ago

    You and Luka Modric need to learn to mind your own business.

    Reply
  • ColinSC
    2 years ago

    Saying he was the only one that could perform when Dembele was out shows the understanding the writer has of our team, asnd to we give a flying one whats ratfaces opinion of where our playes should be?… I agree with the other commenter… Yawn

    Reply
  • Jamie
    2 years ago

    Hard to hear as a spurs fan but he will leave. Your analysis of his performances and his strengths and weaknesses are top class. Sounds like a scouting report about to find itself in Mourinhos Intray

    Reply
  • cookie
    2 years ago

    I can suggest only one thing and that is that Bale is not the problem. The problem Christy is young inexperienced hacks, that know nothing about their prey and nothing about football. Why don’t you write a book about your life, so far. It will probably fit on one A4 sheet. Now ‘mind your own business’ and stop trying to polish your image with someone elses celeb status.

    Reply
    • ChrisWaddle
      2 years ago

      Hey cookie Arent you trying to polish your image with someone elses celeb status – Peter Beardsleys celeb status and sexy smile!!

      Reply
  • sybrian
    2 years ago

    of course he will leave but the timing of does NOT depend on the idle press like this site!!!!

    Reply
  • Jay
    2 years ago

    This is just another example of someone trying to write about nothing. There are plenty of more capable, professional, and intelligent journalists who would not write on this topic because it is just fodder. No substance. No real contribution to news or knowledge.

    Pathetic.

    Reply
  • David
    2 years ago

    Just shut up. Saying Bale will leave and providing stats to prove he’s good is like saying Britain is cold right now but Australia is warmer. It’s a long winded way of stating the obvious but to then suggest he has outgrown the team that made him is insulting and just contributes to the incessant drivel that this site produces. When he then turns into a petulant brat like Modric we can point the finger at useless hacks like you. I hope you don’t get paid for this. There are kids in special schools who could do better.

    Reply
  • sickof cretins
    2 years ago

    Rather bland and simple article. The comment “should the Spanish giants come calling, it is hard to imagine the young Welshman will be able to resist” requires a bit more comment and analysis if this had been a grown up article rather than a largely cut and paste regurgitation of many articles in the “popular” press.E.g.
    (1) who will be managing the “Spanish giants” next season?
    (2) What will be the financial position when Spanish income taxes are rocketing?
    (3) Given the financial crisis in Spain,will Spanish local government be in a position to continue to bail out the “big” clubs by paying ridiculous amounts for the land they “buy” to subsidise the clubs?
    (4)Will Bale be happy to be a bench warmer a la Modric?
    Maybe this would take a competent and experience qualified journalist to write a coherent article.

    Reply
  • Christy Malyan
    2 years ago

    Colin, your point is rather pedantic. How does hypothesizing over Dembele being in the North London Derby have anything to do with an article about Gareth Bale?

    For those of you who feel this article is boring, fair enough, it’s largely stats based and although that thing interests some people, it is a pet hate for others.

    And Cookie, as far as my life fitting on one sheet of A4 paper, everything you’ve done in your life is that one comment you’ve just written. If I ever get round to finishing my memoirs I’ll remember to send you a signed copy.

    Jamie, thank you for your praise it is very welcome.

    Reply
    • Jay
      2 years ago

      No one wants to read your memoirs. Trust me. Especially if they are pertaining to your attempt as a sports journalist.
      And what exactly qualifies you to make such assumptions as to whether Bale has outgrown a team? Are you knowledgeable of his mental state? His personal desires and goals as a footballer? Are you intimate with the inner workings of any of the aforementioned clubs that Bale would be potentially going to, or even THFC itself?

      You have right to an opinion and hypothesis, but that doesn’t stop it from being baseless. Statistics don’t provide a base, they provide reference. I could hire a number of people to extract statistics and utilize them to justify any ridiculous comment I make.

      Anyways, this is besides the point. You are most certainly correct that Bale will depart THFC at some point. But the term “outgrown” is a gross simplification as for the reasons why.

      This is why you are a bad journalist.

      Reply
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