Joe Ledley has claimed that Tottenham Hotspur look a much better outfit when Gareth Bale is on the pitch.

The former Crystal Palace man certainly knows Bale’s quality well, having played alongside the Tottenham star for Wales on plenty of occasions.

Bale did not hit the ground running after returning to Spurs last summer but the 31-year-old has shown glimpses of rekindling his best form over recent months.

The on-loan Real Madrid star started alongside Spurs teammate Joe Rodon in both of Wales’ World Cup Qualifiers against Belgium and the Czech Republic during the international break but was rested for their friendly against Mexico over the weekend.

Ryan Giggs’s side were beaten 3-1 by Belgium last week but put in a spirited performance against the Czech’s in Cardiff on Tuesday to come away with a 1-0 win, with Bale setting up Daniel James for a late winner.

Ledley claimed that the Tottenham man showed his ability to make a difference even when he is having a quiet game and insisted that his former Wales teammate has come in for a lot of unfair criticism this season.

The 34-year-old, who now plies his trade for Newport County, told Sky Sports (as relayed by Football.London): “Yes, he was quiet. Wales would be dominated with the performance.

“I don’t think they dominated the game in possession and threat and final third, but with Gareth, he’s a fantastic player.

“He’s had a lot of criticism, which I think has been a bit hard. He’s a great player and I think he’s done well for Spurs so far this season.

“I think he’s looked really well. I think Spurs look better when he’s playing but that’s what he’s capable of doing.

“If you give him half a yard he can finish or he can deliver balls so it was a quiet night but I think a lot of Welsh players were.”

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Since Bale admitted that being fit for the Euros is his priority, I fear that the Welshman might be fearful of getting an injury and hence would not push his body to the limit over the next couple of months. So I expect Mourinho to use the 31-year-old sparingly until the end of the season.

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