Bale Sale Could Help Spurs Progress Long Term
As Spurs face up to the reality that the 2011/12 season will not include a return to the UEFA Champions League, supporters are left to rue the failure of Harry Redknapp to lure a top striker to the club in the January transfer window. It certainly wasn’t for lack of trying as Fernando Llorente, Diego Forlan, Kun Aguero and Guiseppe Rossi were all targeted for a switch to White Hart Lane to beef up Spurs assault on both the domestic and European front.
Unfortunately for Tottenham the window slammed shut without a deal being done and this has proved pivotal in Spurs failing this seasons. While Peter Crouch, Jermaine Defoe and Roman Pavluychenko are decent strikers, ‘decent’ is the operative word and they lack the standing in the game to challenge for Premiership titles or reach European finals.
The general view of pundits at the moment is that the future of Tottenham and their prospects next season will be determined by their ability to hold onto prized assets Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. In my opinion, holding onto Modric is key as the Croat is a vastly underrated player and is one of the very best in the Barclays Premier League. However, given Spurs will lose out on the Champions League revenue, I personally would look to make up that financial shortfall with the sale of Bale.
It is an opinion which will not be popular with a lot of Tottenham fans who will (rightly) point to his performances in Europe this season as evidence of his talent and undoubted potential. They will argue that to build a team you must hold onto your prized assets. While this is true to some extent, often you have to take a step back to take two forward and the funds raised by Bale’s departure could raise much needed funds to address the crucial striking issue. Despite his dip in form towards the end of the season, his stock is still high following his demolition of Inter Milan in the San Siro. If Spurs cash in on this, given Liverpool paid £35m for Andy Carroll, they could net a transfer fee for the Welshman that even clubs like Man Utd would find hard to turn down.
Besides, I believe that Tottenham can come without Bale next season. Granted, some of his performances in Spurs shirts this season have been fantastic but there is an argument that defences are learning how to play against him and while injury problems were clearly a factor, this may have contributed to his dip in form towards the end of the season.
A deal should only be done if the price is right, but if the sale of Bale allows Spurs to bring in Scott Parker to bolster the midfield and a quality 25 goal a season striker, it could well be the best move the club can make.
Written by Eddie Smith, a sports writer who blogs about new football shirts.
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