Gareth Bale’s agent, Jonathan Barnett, has claimed that the returning superstar has been forced to overcome an unnecessary ‘tough ride’ over the course of his season-long loan spell at Tottenham.
After his struggles at the start of the season, Bale has demonstrated over the last few months that he is still an extremely potent attacking threat when he is fit and firing.
The Welshman returned to the starting eleven against Sheffield United on Sunday after being left on the bench for the Carabao Cup final and he netted a hat-trick to help Spurs to a 4-0 win.
These are certainly not bad numbers for someone who was written off as a flop by some pundits just a few months ago.
Reports indicate the Daniel Levy will offer the next Tottenham manager the chance to re-sign Bale for next season but Barnett remained coy about his client’s plan.
When asked if Bale would extend his stay at Spurs, he told Sky Sports: “Nothing has been discussed at the moment.
“He had a tough ride and I don’t think that should have been necessary. He came as one of the best players in the world.
“Sure, he had a few injuries and a few fitness problems but once they were over, all he needed was to be played in the right position and to be played constantly to get back into the rhythm.
“He has been given that opportunity and you can see how he plays. I think with Gareth, like a lot of players, he has to enjoy his life and then you do well.”
It was not just some pundits who were beginning to wonder whether Bale was past his sell-by date, with Barnett himself stating back in February that the on-loan Real Madrid star was heading ‘towards the end of his career’.
However, the 71-year-old has now changed his tune, suggesting instead that the forward only needed to be used in the right manner in order to return to his best.
Barnett added: “Given the opportunity, given the right way to play him you may have found that he was always at his best.
“He just didn’t have the opportunity to prove it or the way to prove it.”
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Reading between the lines, it seems like Barnett is hinting that Mourinho did not really give Bale the freedom he needs to be at his best. The Welshman himself seemed to suggest something similar following Tottenham’s win over Sheffield United on Thursday when he talked about the difference between Mourinho’s and Mason’s approach.
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