Gareth Bale was officially unveiled as a Tottenham Hotspur player on Saturday after he completed his season-long loan deal to his old club from Real Madrid. However, the Wales international will play his first match for the Spurs only after October’s international break
“We are delighted to announce the return of Gareth Bale to the club on a season-long loan from Real Madrid,” Tottenham said in a statement. Tottenham’s first game after the break will be away to Burnley on October 24.
“Gareth sustained a knee injury whilst playing for Wales on international duty earlier this month and this together with La Liga’s later start compared to the Premier League means he has had a limited pre-season.
“We currently anticipate that he will be match fit after October’s international break,” the statement added.
The 31-year-old, who has a contract with Madrid until 2022, has often been subjected to a step-motherly treatment at Los Blancos, especially under Zinedine Zidane. He started only one game for them after top-flight football resumed following the COVID-19 hiatus.
The Wales international had also alleged Madrid of blocking his efforts to move resume his career elsewhere. He had accused them of resisting his move to the Chinese Super League earlier this year.
La Liga giants Real Madrid had bought Bale from Tottenham for a then-record transfer fee of 100 million euros. But despite winning two league titles and four Champions League with the club, his turbulent relationship with Zidane had put him in exile for most part of the last season.
“Our club wishes good luck to a player who has been part of one of the most successful stages of our history,” Madrid said in a statement.
By contrast, Bale is still remembered as one of the club’s all-time greats at Tottenham Hotspur. He had won Premier League Players’ Player of the Year during his first spell with Spurs which saw him score 56 goals in 203 appearances before Madrid lured him for a record-breaking transfer fee.
Tottenham will pay half of Bale’s humongous 30 million euro salary for this season, while the La Liga giants will still pay half of the Southampton player’s bills.
Bale will wear the number nine shirt and will be a part of an exciting frontline trio, including Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.
“To all the Spurs fans, after 7 years, I’m back!” Bale tweeted.