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‘Bale has to push himself more!’ – Real Madrid loanee’s ‘mentality’ holding him back at Tottenham, says Hoddle

The Welshman’s long-awaited return to north London hasn’t been a success story so far, but a former Spurs star still thinks he has plenty to offer

Gareth Bale “has to push himself more”, according to Glen Hoddle, who says the Real Madrid loanee’s “mentality” is holding him back at Tottenham.

Bale returned to north London on a season-long loan in the summer transfer window after seven years of unprecedented success in the Spanish capital.

The Welshman won La Liga and became a four-time Champions League winner at Madrid, while scoring over 100 goals for the club across all competitions.

However, his contribution to the Blancos’ cause began to dwindle somewhat after Zinedine Zidane’s re-appointment as head coach in March 2019, and he only played a bit-part role in the team’s run to domestic glory last season.

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Spurs supporters hoped that Bale would rediscover his best form in familiar surroundings in north London, but he has so far been unable to make an impact in Jose Mourinho’s set-up.

The 31-year-old has only scored twice in his first 10 appearances across all competitions for the Lilywhites this season, with Harry Kane and Heung-min Son enjoying more prominent roles in the starting XI ahead of him.

Hoddle still believes Bale has the ability to improve Tottenham’s attack, but has urged him to try and get more involved in their build-up play to rebuild his confidence and affect games on a more consistent basis.

“I always said when he came back that I do not think we should expect anywhere near the same Gareth Bale that left Tottenham or achieved what he did at Real Madrid,” the Spurs legend told the Evening Standard.

“Do not forget that he has not actually been playing in the main Spurs team. Jose Mourinho has not seen enough from him and I have not seen enough from him.

“Gareth has had time to get fit and has got fitter, so I do not think it is his fitness now. It is a mentality with him now.

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“He has to push himself more, physically and mentally, and he could be like a brand new player waiting to join this Tottenham squad.

“He has just been on the periphery and he has to be a little bit more, ‘I am the man, you have got to give me the ball’.

“Gareth is not going to be running past four or five players like he used to but I think he can create. He has a good pass on him and with more time on the pitch he will get a good link with Harry Kane and Heung min-Son.

“One of the things Tottenham are lacking is creativity. There is not that creative spark. Gareth Bale coming back would be sensational. But he has more to show.”

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