Zinedine Zidane needs to “look in the mirror and ask himself: Did I make a mistake?” when it comes to Gareth Bale, says Graham Roberts, with a Tottenham legend looking forward to see a familiar face back in north London.
Jose Mourinho has pushed through a season-long loan deal that will see a 31-year-old Wales international retrace his steps to the Premier League.
Back in 2013, Bale became the most expensive player in world football when leaving Spurs for Santiago Bernabeu.
He has collected 13 trophies while in Spain, while recording 105 goals, and is considered to be the finest British export of all time.
Highs were often countered by lows in Madrid, though, with a bright start to life with the Blancos making way for regular questions of Bale’s form, fitness and attitude.
Zidane took to freezing him out amid those struggles, with the Frenchman seeking attacking inspiration from elsewhere.
He claims to have never had an issue with Bale, but Tottenham legend Roberts believes a man who knows all about life under the brightest of spotlights could have handled a long-running saga better.
“Gareth still has a long time ahead of him,” Roberts told Bernabeu Digital ahead of a homecoming for Bale.
“Real Madrid fans are very picky, but Bale has scored great and very important goals in two Champions League finals.
“Zidane needs to look in the mirror and ask himself: 'Did I make a mistake?'”
While questioning Madrid’s management of Bale, Roberts expects a proven performer at the very highest level to thrive back in English football.
A man who spent six years of his playing career in north London added: “He's brilliant. Gareth is the right signing for Tottenham. He'll definitely give the team a big boost.”
Spurs have completed a second raid on Real for highly-rated left-back Sergio Reguilon, with Mourinho fending off rival interest from the likes of Manchester United and Sevilla to land the 23-year-old defender.
“He is a fantastic signing,” said Roberts.
“He had a fantastic season at Sevilla and I'm sure he'll do even better with Spurs.”
Tottenham have made a slow start to their 2020-21 campaign, in Premier League and Europa League competition, but will be hoping to see a spark found on the back of positive transfer news when they take in a trip to Southampton on Sunday.