The West Ham midfielder was on the losing side as the Hammers fell victim to a spectacular last-minute strike from Bale, his second goal of the night, giving Tottenham a 3-2 win at Upton Park.
That goal was the Welshman's 15th of a superb league campaign, and Cole feels Bale has the talent required to be considered one of the best ever.
"You can't help the goal from Bale - it's world class and he is in that kind of form at the moment," Cole told TalkSPORT. "He could be up there with the best players in the Premier League's history.
"He has still got some work to do, but he has certainly got the potential to be up there with the (Cristiano) Ronaldos and the (Thierry) Henrys that this country has seen. He is great to watch, but he's a nightmare to play against unfortunately."