Defoe: Tottenham needs Bale to qualify for Champions League

Fears that the Welshman may move to Real Madrid were calmed somewhat by his appearance to launch Spurs' new kit and the England striker feels that his teammate is invaluable.
Tottenham stars Jermain Defoe and Michael Dawson believe that keeping Gareth Bale is vital to the club's hopes of Champions League qualification.

The Welshman's possible move to Real Madrid has had fans worried, but Bale calmed some fears by helping to unveil Spurs' new kit on Monday with the two fellow outfielders and goalkeeper Brad Friedel.

"It's important that [Bale] stays," Defoe told reporters at the event. "This year, we want a great season and we want to get into the Champions League and to do that you've got to keep your best players.

"What Gareth did here last year was unbelievable when you look at the amount of goals he scored. At times he was playing out of position, up top or off the forward, and to show the composure he did in certain games, when he was one-on-one with the keeper, he produced some unbelievable finishes.

"He's a special player [and] you want to keep your top players."

Dawson, too, is keen to keep Bale's talent at White Hart Lane, adding: "Last year, some of the goals he scored to help win us football matches were unbelievable."

While Bale would not be drawn into any reference to his potential move to Madrid, he confirmed that helping Tottenham to Europe's top competition is the main aim in 2013-14.

"That's the plan, I think everybody at the club wants us to finish in the top four," the forward remarked. "I think the club wants to be in the top four and we need to go one better this season and finish in the top four.

"I'm hoping to improve from last season," the 23-year-old added from a personal perspective. "Every season I want to keep improving, keep becoming a better player. I'm more experienced now."