Arsenal midfielder, Dani Ceballos, who played alongside Gareth Bale at Real Madrid, has suggested that the Welshman may be struggling to adapt to life back in the Premier League because of how much the competition has changed since he left.

Bale was one of the best players in English football during the final few years of his first spell at Spurs and it was his brilliance and consistency that pushed Real Madrid to pay a then world-record transfer fee for the winger.

It proved to be money well spent by the Los Blancos since the wide man helped them to several major honours, including four Champions League titles, even though his relationship with the club has soured over the past couple of years.

When Bale made his long-awaited return to Tottenham in the summer, some Spurs fans would have expected him to have a big impact on the side, even if the Welshman was not quite the same player that left the club back in 2013.

However, the 31-year-old’s return has been disappointing so far as he has struggled for game time and made only one start in the Premier League.

Ceballos has suggested that this might be less to do with Bale and more to do with how much English football has changed.

When asked about his former teammate’s struggles in North London, the Arsenal man told EFE (as relayed by The Mirror): “When Bale was here seven years ago the league was completely different.

“Thomas Partey & Fabinho for instance, they knew the Premier League was a very physical league, but when you start to play you realize it’s twice as physical.

“It is difficult to adapt quickly. Maybe that’s what’s happening to Gareth.”

Spurs Web Opinion

While the Premier League is no doubt completely different from what it was eight years ago, a better explanation for Bale’s struggles has to do with his lack of fitness and form over the last two years. The Welshman needs a consistent run in the side if he is to build any sort of momentum and regain his confidence.

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