Tottenham were hoping to see a familiar face rediscover his spark back in north London, but a season-long deal has not played out as planned
Gareth Bale “hasn’t performed” since returning to Tottenham, admits Michael Dawson, with the former Spurs skipper “so disappointed” at the Welshman’s contribution so far.
Jose Mourinho moved to bring a familiar face back to north London during the summer of 2020.
A season-long loan agreement was put in place with Real Madrid, allowing Bale to retrace his steps to the Premier League.
That deal appeared beneficial to all concerned, with the 31-year-old finding himself frozen out at Santiago Bernabeu under Zinedine Zidane.
Niggling fitness issues have, however, followed Bale back to England from Spain.
He is still scratching around for match sharpness as a result and has seen just 15 appearances across all competitions – with those outings including only 230 minutes of Premier League football.
More was expected from a four-time Champions League winner, with Dawson telling talkSPORT: “I’ve been so disappointed since he’s come in. We all talked about the front three Spurs would have with Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Gareth slotting in.
“He came with an injury and he hasn’t hit the ground running. In his defence he hasn’t had many minutes.
“When he has he hasn’t performed, but he needs time. He needs game time. He was out for a few weeks when he came back and then he’s chucked into cup games and he does okay. But you need a run of games.
“One game here and there, ten minutes here and then – it doesn’t give you much of an opportunity.
“Yes, he played against Brighton and he wasn’t great, but give him another chance and stick with him for three or four games.”
Spurs could do with Bale rediscovering his spark as talismanic striker Harry Kane has been sidelined with an ankle injury.
The England captain is always a big miss for his club employers, with Dawson admitting that the prolific 27-year-old has become irreplaceable.
He added: “We’ve lost Harry. Harry is our main man and there’s no hiding that. You cannot be successful without a player like that because you can’t replace him.
“Spurs cannot replace Harry and you’ve seen it – the proof is in the pudding. They are not performing when Harry is there and they have to find a solution to do that.”
Mourinho’s men have suffered three successive Premier League defeats, and have only one win from their last five, with a seven-point gap now separating them in eighth from the top-four spots required to secure Champions League qualification.