The news that Spurs’ fans have been dreading – the imminent loss of their best player – is a feeling usually reserved for their North London rivals Arsenal who have sold off their best assets in the past few seasons much to the detriment of the club.
Bale said, following their emphatic weekend win,
“It would be nice to experience other leagues and other cultures. I’m not afraid to go abroad. If the time comes and a team that’s right comes in for me, then I’ll look at it seriously.”
The Welshman has been linked with a move to La Liga with Real Madrid hot on his heels just months after luring former Spurs teammate Luka Modric to the Santiago Bernabeu.
I’m inclined to suggest that Bale’s statements are a “come and get me” plea to Europe’s elite and is, in effect, plants a massive for sale sign on his head that Spurs could do without.
Whilst he is a fans favourite at White Hart Lane and they won’t thank me for saying it – it’s not all that different to Robin van Persie’s devastating statement posted on his personal website just before his sale to Manchester United this summer.
When a player doesn’t dismiss transfer speculation but even goes so far as to welcome it, it not only alerts other clubs to his availability and potential susceptibility to be bought but it drives down his price to some extent.
Manchester United bought van Persie for £24 million when Arsenal had originally valued him at £30 million. They were forced in to the sale by his statement that he wanted to leave and due to his expiring contract, he had them over a barrel.
Whilst van Persie was courting Manchester City and United, across North London Luka Modric was throwing his toys out the of the pram – his ‘unprofessional’ behaviour, a strike of Spurs’ pre-season training and US tour, might have cost him a £80,000 fine from the club but went a long way to ensure every body knew he didn’t want to play any further part in Tottenham Hotspur’s ambitions.
He was subsequently sold to Real Madrid for £30 million, drawing painful comparisons to Dimitar Berbatov’s escapades in 2008, which earned him his move to Manchester United, where they sold Michael Carrick two years earlier.
Conversely, Cesc Fabregas kept his gob shut – even though all and sundry from the Barcelona camp were referring constantly to his ‘Barca DNA’ for two long summers in a row, the former Gunners skipper kept quiet, despite his desperation to return to his boyhood club.
His integrity towards Arsenal and Arsene Wenger meant that he was sold for the right price and in the right way. It is a mark of his character that he even signed a contract extension with the Gunners, knowing that he probably could have moved to Barca for more money if he didn’t.
It won’t please Spurs or Arsenal fans that they share a problem – their star players are either holding them to ransom over wages like a certain English winger, or they’re engineering moves to rival teams.
It’s clear for all to see what has happened to Arsenal in the last seven seasons and how their transfer policy has negatively affected the club, the players, and the fans. Tottenham now need to take their rival’s failings as a warning.
When players start talking about transfers publicly, they’re setting the stage for a move and they know exactly what they’re doing – their agents know exactly how to manoeuvre them and the clubs become powerless – their only consolation, a very friendly bank manager.
Can Spurs stem the tide of losing key players?
image: © wonker