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MARTIN KEOWN: Gareth Bale is being welcomed back at Tottenham with open arms


MARTIN KEOWN: Gareth Bale is being welcomed back at Tottenham with open arms… he’s the superstar who left to win it all – he won’t suffer a seven-year hitch

  • Much has changed at Tottenham since Gareth Bale left the club in 2013 
  • The team now have a new stadium and a state-of-the-art training base 
  • The Wales captain is being welcomed back with open arms by supporters  

When I went home to Arsenal after seven years away, I found next to nothing had changed. Apart from the odd alteration, Highbury was the same and so was the training ground.

I didn’t need a tour. I knew where everything was and it felt like I had come home.

Gareth Bale has arrived back at Tottenham after seven years to a brand new stadium and a state-of-the-art training base. It is very different to what he will remember when he said goodbye in 2013.

Much has changed since Gareth Bale left Tottenham in 2013 including a huge new stadium

Much has changed since Gareth Bale left Tottenham in 2013 including a huge new stadium

But the Wales captain is the superstar being welcomed back by supporters with open arms

 But the Wales captain is the superstar being welcomed back by supporters with open arms 

Crucially, the supporters are the same. I had to win the fans over — some weren’t pleased I had left for Aston Villa in the first place. 

But Bale is being welcomed back with open arms. He’s the superstar who left so that he could win everything with Real Madrid.

This is his honeymoon period, but I’m sure he realises the supporters will be looking for something special from him on the pitch. 

I found myself trying too hard in my first few matches and Bale has to be careful. Anyone who has appeared in both the Premier League and LaLiga will tell you which one is the more demanding and the Welshman hasn’t played regularly for some time.

Bale needs to go easy when he returns in order to maintain his fitness throughout the season

Bale needs to go easy when he returns in order to maintain his fitness throughout the season

I’m sure Jose Mourinho will be thinking about managing his minutes and Spurs’ medical team will be all over it, too.

They handled Harry Kane’s return from a nasty injury with great care. Bale will have watched his new team tear apart Manchester United — the club he could have joined instead — and felt he made the right call. 

He will want to get on the pitch and join the party but he needs to go easy. At 31, he is young enough to achieve big things with Tottenham.



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