Dani Ceballos has told Spanish newspaper EFE – as per the Mirror – that Gareth Bale is struggling at Tottenham Hotspur because the Premier League is completely different to the division he left in 2013 to join Madrid.
Bale, 31, has managed just 12 games in all competitions since returning – scoring three goals but struggling to break into the Tottenham side. He is far from the player that scored twice in the 2018 Champions League final.
Spurs fans had been hoping for more from Bale, who had scored 56 goals and created 58 more in 203 Spurs games prior to his move to Real Madrid eight years ago. Ceballos is also on loan from Madrid in the Premier League.
The Arsenal midfielder, who almost joined Tottenham in the summer of 2019 before choosing the Gunners (Sky Sports), thinks the newer style of the Premier League has had a detrimental effect on Bale following his Spurs move.
“When Bale was here seven years ago the league was completely different,” Ceballos said. “Partey & Fabinho for instance, they knew the Premier League was a physical league, but when you play you realize its twice as physical.
“It is difficult to adapt quickly. Maybe that’s what’s happening to Gareth.”
TBR’s view – Can Bale rediscover form?
In a Jose Mourinho side that prides itself on work rate and being initially defensively solid, Bale looks unlikely to break his way into the starting line-up past the likes of Steven Bergwijn or Erik Lamela.
But the 83-time Wales international can offer Spurs something different, a bit of magic in games where they need to open up a defence – or as a substitute when the starting players are not making the breakthrough.
Like he did against Brighton, Bale can still offer something to Spurs. But fans of the North London club cannot expect Bale to be the player that they sold in 2013, or the one that starred at Real for so many years.