There is light at the end of the tunnel. It seems that Tottenham’s proposed move into the new stadium is not some form of new media hoax after all. After progressing to the quarter-final of the Champions League with a convincing 4-0 aggregate win over Borussia Dortmund, Mauricio Pochettino was straightforward about the logistics behind his side’s next European home fixture: “I expect to play in the new stadium.”
While the news will naturally be greeted with a sense of cathartic relief after months of relentlessly tedious, jarring and ultimately futile speculation, equally there exists a feeling of anti-climatic ruefulness. This is not the clearly-defined grand opening which fans would have been well within their rights to anticipate for a modern, state-of-the-art footballing cathedral; this has been a chaotic fiasco to get over the finish line which has played out in the midst of the public gaze.
To compound the problem for Spurs, the move has coincided with a complete absence of spending in the transfer market. Through all of this Pochettino has managed to keep the club near the summit of the Premier League table, and it’s about time Levy rewarded his commendable professionalism with a summer signing to transform his team into genuine silverware contenders.
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Tottenham are on the cusp of something special, a feeling which has bubbled beneath the surface in north London since they fell just short of the title in 2016, but they are missing vital ingredients to make the final step into Europe’s elite.
The new stadium is unquestionably a factor which will add an extra layer to their credentials next season. New signings, however, will dictate the pattern of the season. With that said, Levy must prioritise a deal to re-sign Gareth Bale when the summer transfer window opens for business.
Not only would Bale’s arrival inject a layer of quality into the squad which has only been matched by Harry Kane in recent years, it would go some way to making up for the entire debacle surrounding the stadium move and represent a symbol of Levy’s intentions in a new era at Spurs.
According to a report published in The Independent in January, Real Madrid have already made contact with the north London club over a deal for Christian Eriksen, and now The Mirror believe that Bale could be used as a makeweight to finance a deal for the Denmark international.
The excitement which a move for the Wales international, valued at £63 million by Transfermarkt, would galvanise the fan base at a watershed moment in the club’s history. He is already a club icon, a serial trophy winner, a national hero and, perhaps most importantly, a born-winner, as his earth-shattering Champions League bicycle kick served to demonstrate.
For a side who have been starved of signings for such an unprecedented length of time, re-signing the Real Madrid outcast would be a coup for the ages at a time when the club need it most.
The prospect of watching Bale in action at the new stadium is a dream which would surely counteract the nightmare of the ordeal which has preceded their long-awaited move.