Gareth Bale's Tottenham move can help Wales, says manager Ryan Giggs

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales
Gareth Bale (left) with Ryan Giggs
Gareth Bale (left) has regularly captained Wales during Ryan Giggs' reign

Manager Ryan Giggs believes Wales will benefit from Gareth Bale's move back "home" to Tottenham.

Bale, 31, has returned to Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, where he had been confined to the bench for much of the past two seasons.

He remains a key figure for Wales even when he is below his best - but Giggs hopes this loan will revitalise Bale.

"He will play more regularly than he did at Madrid. I think it's a good move for Gareth," he said.

"It's good for Spurs and good for the Premier League in general, to have someone like that who we can watch every week.

"He's at a club he knows well with a very good manager [Jose Mourinho] and I think he's said himself it's like going back home."

Asked how that would affect Bale's performances for Wales, Giggs added: "It will be so much better if he is playing regularly.

"He will be sharper, will be able to play those two games in a short space of time.

"It is always difficult because he's been able to manage it and produce performances because he looks after himself because of his quality and the experience he's got, but it will be so much better when he is playing regularly."

Real Madrid paid what was then a world record fee of £85m to sign Bale from Spurs in 2013, and he enjoyed significant success for much of his career with the Spanish club.

The former Southampton player scored more than 100 goals and won four Champions League titles, scoring in the 2014 and 2018 finals, the latter of which was one of the greatest goals ever to grace a European Cup final.

However, even after his remarkable overhead kick in the 2018 final against Liverpool, Bale was already beginning to find his first-team opportunities limited at the Bernabeu.

Those became scarcer over the course of the next two seasons, as injuries affected his form and he fell out of favour under manager Zinedine Zidane.

While Bale endured those tribulations, Giggs insisted he had no concerns about his influential forward's situation - but maintained that, ideally, all his players would play regularly.

Now Bale is back with Tottenham, he should have the chance to do just that, once he has recovered from the knee injury which has ruled him out of Wales' friendly against England next week and their Nations League fixtures against the Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.

"It's not too far away when he's able to play but he's not done enough to join up with us to be involved in the games," said Giggs.

"It doesn't matter what quality he possesses, the experience, it's always better when you are playing, especially in the international arena when you have two games in a short space of time.

"He will be playing regularly and I'm happy Gareth is back at a club he knows so well."