Florentino Perez, against his own judgment, was able to secure the signing of rising star Isco, marking the turning point from the Mourinho era to a new dawn under Carlo Ancelotti.
Were it not for the intervention of Zinedine Zidane, the Spanish playmaker may well have been on his way to Manchester City, something that La Liga as a whole is surely happy to avoid seeing. Yet Isco’s switch to the Spanish capital could have short-term effects on the club’s bid for Gareth Bale, of course forgetting Daniel Levy’s complete lack of willingness to negotiate with the La Liga outfit.
Isco’s signing always made the most sense for the club. Where Cristiano Ronaldo has made the left side of Madrid’s attack his own, questions would have been thrown up as to where Bale would have fit in. German technician Mesut Ozil mans the centre of the midfield three, while Angel Di Maria was often preferred on the right flank – a position we’re likely to see Isco in next season.
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But it’s not just the flexibility of the former Malaga star that’s worth taking into account – notably he can play anywhere across the midfield three – Isco’s signing, as well as the return of promising young full-back Daniel Carvajal, signals a potential shift onto Spanish nationals. Perez, with all the glitz and glamour that is associated with this tenure as well as his previous, will not want to completely abandon his go-to approach of signing superstar names from abroad. But there is so much potential from this Isco move that it completely negates the need for Bale – at least for this coming season.
The real matter here is whether Real Madrid can hold onto Ronaldo for next season, with Manchester United in particular taking on an aggressive stance in attempting to recapture the superstar forward. But much like Daniel Levy, it’s hard to imagine Florentino Perez giving up the game on Ronaldo so easily. In addition, couldn’t it be argued that the Portuguese is better placed playing in La Liga, remaining close to Lionel Messi and Neymar as the three battle for supremacy in world football? A Ronaldo move may become a reality at some stage in the future, but for now this whole issue smacks of the player wanting an increase in wages as well as support.
Gareth Bale, on the other hand, couldn’t be better placed for the upcoming season. Who could really argue that Tottenham is a bad place to be at this time? Last summer it could be argued that the club were at a crossroads, eventually opting down the path of Andre Villas-Boas – a gamble in itself – and now seeing the rewards coming into full view on the horizon.
A club in England, or anywhere for that matter, don’t land Hugo Lloris, Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele by holding a reputation as a stagnating club with little to hope for the future. Paulinho, fresh off an impressive Confederations Cup, may arrive, and the club look well-poised to strengthen with very reputable names from the continent. Bale doesn’t need Champions League football now; he’s 23. Trophies in his career will come, and he’s far from his peak as a player. It begs the question as to what the rush is.
On top of Tottenham’s growing reputation, the addition of Franco Baldini to the backroom staff will only help to land transfer targets and open up a market that may yet have been ventured. It says something of the club that PSG were looking to their manager as someone to take over the reins of their lavish project; it says even more about Tottenham that Villas-Boas chose to stay.
Those who lament the failure to reach the Champions League are completely ignoring the progress being made elsewhere. While top-tier European football is a great desire at White Hart Lane, last season’s fifth place finish doesn’t throw a spanner into the works by any means.
Real Madrid, for what their tactical system is likely to be next season, have made the better choice in signing Isco over Bale. And therein lies Tottenham’s bargaining chip when discussing the immediate future with their star player. As good as Bale is, is he guaranteed to play every game for Real Madrid? It’s maybe an asinine question to some, but one with a degree of validity all the same. At Tottenham, he will remain the centrepiece and the star of the show. He can continue to grow into the player many expect him to be, at which point he can command a position at one of Europe’s biggest clubs.
For Tottenham, and provided they continue as they have done so far, the sale of Bale in the future could be offset by how much progress has been made in domestic football. The pieces are in place right across the board, and the income generated from the player’s sale will only act as another boost to the club’s future ambitions.
Is Bale better placed staying at Spurs for next season?
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