Tottenham have reportedly added Rafa Benitez to their shortlist of potential replacements for Jose Mourinho ahead of the summer – and Gareth Bale’s comments from 2016 could convince fans over a move for the Spanish tactician.
Spurs have suffered numerous managerial blows at this early stage of finding a successor to Mourinho. Erik Ten Hag has signed a new Ajax deal, Julian Nagelsmann joined Bayern and his replacement Jesse Marsch was also linked.
Now, The Daily Mail claim Ralf Rangnick and Rafa Benitez have been added to the shortlist as a potential summer appointment with interim boss Ryan Mason also in with a chance. Max Allegri is also said to be considered by Spurs.
Benitez has huge experience in the Premier League after spells with Liverpool, Chelsea and Newcastle and 31-year-old Bale worked with Benitez during his time at Real Madrid. In 2016, the Welshman was full of praise for Benitez.
“I felt isolated out on the wing and I wasn’t able to do what I wanted to do and give my best for the club,” Bale told The Times in 2016. “He [Benitez] listened to me, and gave me more responsibility which was what I wanted.
“I had a good relationship with him. He speaks very good English which helps me. I was able to speak to him a lot. We had things in common from working in England. I just enjoyed working with him.”
TBR’s view – Would Benitez be a good appointment for Spurs?
Or is he much different from Mourinho? The Portuguese boss is renowned for his defensive stability and ultimately, that has contributed to his sacking at Spurs. Benitez is also very defensive-minded, especially at Newcastle.
But in a side with much more attacking talent in the likes of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Bale, Benitez has the nous to give the freedom to the attackers and let them play – while remaining defensively sturdy.
The reports of Benitez have not been met with much optimism, but Bale’s comments from five years ago will surely convince some supporters that at least the Spanish gaffer will be welcomed by one of their best players – if he stays.