Gareth Bale is not himself on the pitch but is adding huge value to Tottenham behind the scenes wih his “winning mentality,” according to Darren Bent.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, 79-time Spurs striker Bent observed that the one-time most expensive player in the world was a shadow in midweek despite getting on the scoresheet.
However, the ex-Spurs striker says the on-loan Real Madrid man may have a legitimate excuse in the form of concerns about his susceptibility to injury.
Moreover, Bale is helping Spurs in terms of his influence in the dressing room.
“His impact on that team has not necessarily been on the pitch.” Bent told Football Insider.
“At times last night [Wednesday], the Bale of old would have got the ball and opened his legs up, push the ball and you could get nowhere near him.
“I wonder, can he still do that?
“Other than his goal, I don’t think Bale pulled up any trees. But he gets the goal and papers over the cracks.
“He showed flashes but I feel like I’m still yet to see him open up and sprint. I wonder, is there still a little bit of an issue there? Is he potentially a little bit unsure in his body because he doesn’t want anything to break down?
“But his impact has been off the pitch in the changing room: it’s his winning mentality.
“You’ve got a manager there who’s a serial winner and you’ve got Bale who’s a serial winner.”
Bale has featured 11 times in all competitions during his second spell with the club, although just four of those appearances have come in the league.
Despite this, Sky Sports have stated that Bale is still “incredibly happy” at the club.