Tim Sherwood believes Gareth Bale is not ready to start games for Tottenham Hotspur just yet, believing the player was ‘struggling to breathe’ against West Ham United.
The Wales superstar was sent on for his second Spurs debut by Jose Mourinho against the Hammers on Sunday with around 20 minutes to go.
It was a somewhat underwhelming cameo from the 32-year-old, although it could have been so different had he converted a golden chance at 3-2.
Bale worked a great opening to go into the box, but placed his effort just wide.
That would have sealed three points for Spurs, who then conceded a stunning equaliser to Manuel Lanzini.
In the eyes of Sherwood, Bale will need more cameos before being selected to start.
He told talkSPORT: “Gareth Bale needs to get fit; obviously when he came on he had that one lung-busting run, his shot went past the post and when you saw his face after that he was struggling to breathe – he needs to get back to fitness, he’s not ready to start at the moment.”
TBR’s View – Patience required over Bale
Before taking to the field against West Ham, Bale was recovering from an injury and hadn’t played a game since September 3 and 6 (for Wales vs Finland and Bulgaria).
Before that, Bale hadn’t played since June 24 and so the star simply needs to grow accustomed to playing regularly again.
It might take a few more weeks for him to get up to speed, so Spurs fans will need to be patient and remember he’s not the same 24-year-old that left in 2013.