In terms of excitement, few transfers ramped it up quite like Gareth Bale’s return to Tottenham this summer.
The Welshman’s move back to London was high-profile to say the least, partly because of his huge name but also because plenty are keen to see whether he can get back to his best at his former club.
So far that’s yet to happen, with Bale battling back to full fitness and yet to make himself a regular under Jose Mourinho.
Indeed, so far he’s managed just seven appearances and 369 minutes of football and spent both of Tottenham’s last two games, key clashes against Manchester City and Chelsea, sat on the bench.
That’s led AS to look at the situation today and explore what’s going on.
They explain that after seemingly coming out of his ‘fallow’ stage at Real Madrid, the ‘initial revelry’ has ‘entered a recession’.
The ‘dream’ of seeing him star alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son has not come true, and Mourinho has even left Bale out of the most important games.
For example, they say that the clashes with City and Chelsea were tests to ‘verify the fireproof nature’ of this Tottenham side and it was telling that Bale was left out.
So far he’s not taken this role in a bad mood, but he has ‘failed to match his good attitude with statistics’ and only left ‘sparkles and attitude’.
AS say the ‘puzzle does not quite fit’ and when things have ‘gotten serious’ Mourinho has elected to go with ‘fresher options’ than the Welshman.
They say the ‘return of the prodigal son’ is not proving to be as positive as his ‘landing smiles’ suggested it would be.
At the moment nothing points to discontent between Mourinho and Bale but time will end up telling on that, and Real Madrid remain ‘attentive’ to the situation as Bale is set to return at the end of the year.
A ‘revaluation’, courtesy of impressive performances for Tottenham, would have ‘facilitated a possible future sale’ even if it was on the cheap given he’ll be in the final year of his deal.
Thus, Tottenham are not the only ones ‘advocating the rebirth’.