Not making the Champions League might mean that Tottenham, missing out on the final day once again, this time because they finished fifth and not because someone won the competition and left them out, will have to part ways with Gareth Bale, who did the proper thing and finished his potentially final match for the club with a beautiful goal to leave another great memory.
It’s been a special season for Bale, finishing it with a career high 21 goals, some of them quite spectacular. Bale was moved into a more central role by Andre Villas-Boas, and although his consistency issues and diving tendencies didn’t go away, it’s safe to say it was another step in his transformation and emergence as one of the best and unique footballers in the world.
According to AVB, Bale isn’t going anywhere. However, some offers are hard to decline, especially with Tottenham needing a little bit of non-ownership cash to make up for not reaching the Champions League. Last season they sold Luka Modric to Real Madrid, and there’s a good chance Bale will be the one to make the same trip once again, for a much more expensive price this time.
Bale himself has been quiet, not wanting to say the wrong thing. He’s not declaring about a desire to go elsewhere, but he isn’t declaring the opposite either. Whatever happens is fine by him, but the Champions League thing has become such a draw in recent seasons, it’s hard to believe Spurs will manage to hang on to Bale for another season as the big boys of Europe chase after him, although Bale isn’t making the problems Modric did during his final 12 months with the team.
A departure of Bale might mean the beginning of a decline for Spurs, who have been either 4th or 5th over the last four seasons. Replacing Modric wasn’t such an issue – he was an overrated player who might be special in his skill set at his specific position, but other players can do his job just as well.
Bale? He’s one of a kind. Not the best player in the world or the Premier League, but he’s a rare physical specimen, who has added quite a lot to his game over the last three seasons beyond speed and strength. Replacing him is almost impossible, and with Tottenham being so dependent on his abilities over the last two years, selling him will mean taking a step backwards professionally, although that might be inevitable .