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Gareth Bale officially rejoins...

Gareth Bale officially rejoins Tottenham Hotspur on loan

Colm Boohig
Colm Boohig

6:14 PM - 19 Sep 2020



Tottenham Hotspur have completed the season-long loan signing of Real Madrid star Gareth Bale.

The Welsh icon re-signs for Spurs seven years after departing the club for the Santiago Bernabeu in what was then a world-record £86m transfer fee.

Bale has enjoyed incredible success in Spain, winning the Champions League four times, a run which saw Bale score a decisive header in the 2014 final against arch-rivals Atletico Madrid and an outrageous overhead kick against Liverpool in the same decider four years later.

Despite his impressive trophy haul in Madrid, Bale fell out of favour with manager Zinedine Zidane some time ago and started on the bench in that 2018 final during Zidane's first period in charge.

Since Zidane returned to the club in spring 2019, Bale has largely been left out in the cold and nearly joined the Chinese Super League last summer only for Madrid to block the move at the eleventh hour.

Finally, though, Bale has left a team where he has often appeared unhappy in recent years and rejoins a club where he became a global superstar at the beginning of the last decade.

The 31-year-old will wear the no. 9 jersey in his second spell. This will be the fourth different number he has worn at Spurs since signing from Southampton way back in 2007 as a prodigious left-back. In many ways, this basic shirt-number fact illustrates Bale's remarkable evolution as a footballer throughout the years.

Bale won the League Cup with Tottenham in 2008 - the club's last piece of silverware - but took time to settle in north London following his big transfer from the Saints. A move further up the pitch and a release of freedom unleashed absurd confidence and form within the young wideman, culminating in two particularly famous Champions League performances against the reigning European Cup holders Inter Milan during the 2010/11 campaign.

His displays continued to exponentially improve and by Bale's last season at White Hart Lane in 2012/13, he was the league's outstanding player, scoring 21 goals and providing four assists in 33 Premier League outings from a wide position. He swept the individual awards that year meaning a major move was somewhat inevitable.

And so it proved to be the case. Bale moved to Madrid that summer and along with winning those four Champions Leagues picked up two La Liga titles, three Club World Cups, two European Super Cups and the Copa del Rey - a game in which he scored a legendary solo effort against Barcelona.

Bale returns to Spurs on loan with the club paying around £20 million as part of the arrangement for the season. He will be accompanied at Tottenham by full-back Sergio Reguilon who also signs from Real but on a contract for five years.

The pair join Joe Hart, Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Matt Doherty as part of Jose Mourinho's summer acquisitions. While the aforementioned recruits look like good business on paper, Spurs made a concerning start to the season by limply losing 1-0 to a revitalised Everton at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

Following the match, Mourinho was critical of his players' mentalities.

Spurs play Bale's old side Southampton on Sunday at St. Mary's Stadium with the freshly-acquired Real Madrid duo no doubt keen to improve their new club's fortunes as soon as possible.

Presumably inspired by Michael Jordan's words upon his return to the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s following his brief baseball-focused hiatus, Tottenham released a statement on behalf of their returning hero on Saturday evening that simply read, "I'm back."

Elsewhere in this weekend's significant transfer news, Liverpool secured the services of Wolverhampton Wanderers forward Diogo Jota on a long-term deal for a fee believed to be in the region of £45 million.

Jota will wear the no. 20 jersey and joins playmaker Thiago Alcantara at Anfield who signed from Bayern Munich during the week.



Read more about

Gareth Bale Jose Mourinho Real Madrid Spurs Zinedine Zidane

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