Should Tottenham take the money and run?


If you had asked Tottenham Hotspur supporters two months ago whether they should resist the rather overbearing advances from Real Madrid in pursuit of their hot young Welshman Mr G. Bale, I reckon 99% would have said yes.

At the end of the season following their latest innovative exhibition of how to avoid playing football on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, you may have got a few more willing to let him go, maybe 90%.

Now with the posturing from Madrid in full swing and the transfer fee currently rising by on average about £5million a day, I think it could be approaching a 50/50 shout.

There is clearly a massive decision to be taken by Tottenham. I think it pretty much boils down to where the club wants to go and perhaps more importantly, like a Missouri hopeful waiting tables in Hollywood, what exactly they are prepared to do to get there.

They could assume a position, play hardball, look big in front of their mates and not sell at any cost. This would please many fans who would see this as Spurs standing up to the Spanish giants and not being railroaded into relinquishing their brightest talent.

They would probably perceive it as a key indication that the club are determined to hold on to their best players and are serious about mounting a push for the top four or maybe even beyond.

I would put forward a different view. It’s all well and good holding on to Bale but unless they back it up with at least three top quality big money players then they may as well let him go now. Otherwise their stance can merely be construed as bravado, financially flawed bravado at that.

The type of players I’m referring to are those who are at or approaching their peak, not already beyond it. Ordinarily I wouldn’t have included “big money” as a requisite in any transfer dealings but I think it’s something that is required on this occasion.

Spurs need to make a statement, if they sign players who are past their best in messy player plus cash exchanges or last minute scraped together deadline day deals then what is the point of keeping Bale.

Last season with him in their ranks they failed to achieve the top four and the race is likely to be even fiercer next term. Should they be unsuccessful again there is every likelihood that he will want to leave by which time, with only two years left on his contract the fee Spurs could demand would be significantly diminished.

If Spurs sell Bale now for let’s say £80million and then reinvest that full amount in three or four quality players I feel they would have a better chance of finishing in a Champions League spot than with him and some average additions.

Yes that would imply an acceptance that their level at the moment is at best pushing for fourth place but then at least everyone would be provided with some clarity of their current ambitions.

The ideal scenario for Spurs fans would be to keep hold of their talisman while still making an £80million investment in the team.

That would demonstrate to all, Bale included that the club are serious about where they want to be and are prepared to spend big to get there.

Gareth Bale deserves to be in a team challenging for the very biggest honours in the game, if Spurs aren’t going to be that team then it makes little sense for either party to continue their association for another year.

Allen Whyte


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