Kevin Phillips fears Gareth Bale may turn out to be “one of the most expensive loan deals of all time” after the Tottenham attacker suffered another injury.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the 2000 European Golden Shoe winner has been surprised by the 31-year-old’s performances and said he is “certainly not” the player he once was.
Bale has started just one Premier League game since returning to the club on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid in September.
His lack of game time has been in part due to a series of injuries, the latest of which he sustained in the EFL Cup win at Stoke City.
Spurs boss Jose Mourinho told Sky Sports that the Wales international would be sidelined for “a few weeks” with a calf problem.
When asked by Football Insider if the club may be starting to regret re-signing the winger, Phillips said: “When he first signed I was excited.
“I thought he would get back to his best but I hold my hands up, it has not quite worked.
“He has had some niggly injuries but even when he has played, he is certainly not the Gareth Bale we used to see flying past people. He has surprised me by being more reserved in his performances.
“It could turn out to be one of the most expensive loan deals of all time.
“He is out injured now for another few weeks and that is frustrating for Spurs. I am sure Mourinho is frustrated.”