Crouch: Gareth Bale Was Destroyed By Zidane In Real Madrid
Gareth Bale was “ruined by Zinedine Zidane” at Real Madrid and cannot be expected to be “the turbocharged winger” he once was until fully back up to speed at Tottenham, says Peter Crouch.
Spurs moved to bring a familiar face back onto their books during the summer transfer window when a season-long loan agreement was put in place with Madrid, allowing Bale to return to north London.
He has been eased back into Premier League life by Jose Mourinho, with the Wales international spending much of his second spell at Tottenham on the bench.
That is how he ended his time in Spain, with Zidane having taken to freezing the 31-year-old out of his plans.
It is not a lack of faith that is limiting Bale’s game time at Spurs, with an experienced performer still working on his match fitness and sharpness.
Crouch believes that will come in time, with there still plenty for the four-time Champions League winner to offer title hopefuls in 2020-21.
The former Tottenham striker told the Daily Mail: “It was unrealistic for people to expect Gareth to come back from seven years in Spain and be the turbocharged winger who blew us away.
“In the years I played with him, I have never seen anyone who had such an engine — up, down, up, down at full pace for 90 minutes.
“His last two years in Madrid were ruined by Zinedine Zidane effectively cutting him out and that much disruption has an impact on a player finding rhythm.
“One thing I have noticed is that he is cleverer in terms of how he times his runs and when he engages top gear.
“You also have to recognise how good Son Heung-min, Harry Kane and Steven Bergwijn have been for Jose Mourinho.
“Son and Kane were magnificent on the counter against Arsenal and the more I see them, the more I see genuine title challengers. Gareth will play his part to help, for sure.”