Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes that if his side had kept hold of Gareth Bale they would be fighting for the Premier League title this season instead of scrapping for a Europa League spot.

The Welsh wizard became the world’s most expensive player after Real Madrid snapped him up from Spurs in an eye-watering £86m deal last year on the back of an impressive campaign.

Bale was English football’s top performer last term, with his 26 goals in all competitions almost enough to cap a positive season at White Hart Lane with Champions League qualification.

After a summer of transfer uncertainty Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy eventually accepted Real’s offer for the 24-year-old, replacing him with a series of stars from across Europe in a £110m spend.

Few of these big buys have settled well, and Sherwood – who replaced Andre Villas-Boas over the winter – has been unable to keep the Londoners in the battle for Champions League qualification.

Bale netted a dramatic late winner in the Copa de Rey final against Barcelona in midweek, and the now Spurs coach feels that if the club still had him they would be battling for English football’s top prize:

“We saw what he did last year: 21 goals and nine assists. He scored the winner in eight games.” He is quoted by Sky Sports.

“We could do with that now, by the way. If you put those points that he accumulated for us on top of what we have got we would probably be challenging for the title.”

Sherwood then went on to lament the loss of Luka Modric a few seasons ago – the Croatian now also plays for Real:

“The two best players on the pitch (in the Copa del Rey final) were Gareth Bale and Luka Modric and that says everything.”

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