Gareth Bale signs for Tottenham: Opponents will worry about playing Spurs - Danny Murphy analysis

By Danny MurphyMOTD pundit and former Tottenham midfielder
Match of the Day

Gareth Bale has that "wow" factor, something only a few very special players in the world have got.

When they play, they have a different aura and a presence on the pitch that affects everyone - even before they kick a ball.

So, Bale will not just have a positive effect on his new Tottenham team-mates and give them a massive confidence boost, he will change the way opposition players feel about facing Spurs.

They will be worried when they see his name on the teamsheet and then, when they face him on the pitch, I can tell you now they will drop off five yards because they will be scared of him - whoever they are.

'An exciting move for player, club and league'

Bale's move back to Tottenham is exciting for the player, the club - and the Premier League.

He needs to play after a frustrating few months at Real Madrid and, at Spurs under Jose Mourinho, he now has a manager who wants him and fans who adore him.

He can have some fun and enjoy himself again, which wasn't always the case in Spain.

It's a great move for Tottenham too, because they badly need someone who can improve their team and give everyone at the club a lift. Bale does both of those things in a big way.

He has shown his leadership qualities when he has starred for Wales, as well as his ability to inspire his team-mates.

Judging from those performances at international level, he doesn't need to be in a highly successful side like Real to do well. He can take responsibility for his team when he is in an environment with players who are less able than himself.

Euro 2016: Gareth Bale's three goals for Wales

Bale can lift them and carry them in games, something we've already seen him do in his previous spell at Tottenham before he went to Real for a then world record £85m in 2013.

I can't wait to see him back playing in the Premier League again. Everyone loves players who make things happen and Bale is still one of them.

The way he goes past defenders, his explosive shots, his speed and the outrageous goals he scores mean he is a player people will enjoy watching this season, including pundits like me.

'The versatile superstar'

Gareth Bale scores against Liverpool in the 2018 Champions League final
Bale scores a memorable overhead kick against Liverpool to help Real win the 2018 Champions League - he netted twice in a 3-1 win over the Reds and was the first player to come on as a substitute and score twice in a final

Bale is 31 now, and he has not played much at club level recently.

We will have to wait and see what his fitness is like, and hope he stays injury free, but I actually think the fact he hasn't played very much for so long means he will be in good shape physically.

And make no mistake, he is still a goal threat, inside and outside the box. He has still got tremendous power and pace, he can dribble past people and he scores and makes goals from open play and set-pieces.

Yes, his wages are expensive, but that's because he is a superstar. He is definitely going to make Tottenham a better team so, however they have made the sums work, it is worth it. It is a great bit of business to bring him in.

Gareth Bale
Bale won the Champions League four times with Real Madrid, and scored three goals in finals - one in 2014 and two in the 2018 final

For what he can bring to this Spurs side, even as a short-term fix on loan, it could be the difference between them finishing in the European places or not. He is that good.

I love the fact he is so versatile and can play anywhere across the pitch. Whatever the occasion and whatever Mourinho's plan, Bale will play a role.

You would say that putting him on the right flank is the obvious position for him, so he can cut inside on to that left foot of his.

But in Mourinho's usual 4-2-3-1 formation he can play centrally as the number 10 behind the striker, or as a left or right winger.

He could play on either wing in a 4-3-3, and in a 4-4-2 you would probably put him up front with Harry Kane.

He has led the attack on his own before for Wales and let's not forget about his aerial capability - he is brilliant at heading the ball.

'Bale has nothing to prove - but he will want to make a point to Real'

Gareth Bale and Real boss Zinedine Zidane
Bale scored 105 goals in 251 games for Real but fell out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and started only 14 games in 2019-20

I'm not surprised Mourinho wanted Bale. His quality is obvious and he will be hungry too.

I don't think he has anything to prove at Tottenham or in the Premier League, but he will want to make a point to Real after he was frozen out there.

He operates at such a high level that I'm expecting him to make an impact in the dressing room and on the training ground as well as on the pitch.

I've seen it happen before, where a major signing comes into your club and everyone raises their levels and improves their performances around him.

I have no doubt at all that he will improve Spurs, wherever he plays. And he will take some of the responsibility of spearheading the team off Kane's shoulders and give everyone at the club a boost.

Spurs signing him is a move that makes perfect sense for everyone. I don't see any negatives about it at all.

Danny Murphy was speaking to BBC Sport's Chris Bevan.

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