Gareth Bale may have “won more Champions Leagues than Manchester United” but the Welshman remains “as hungry as ever” after rejoining Tottenham from Real Madrid, says Peter Crouch.
After slipping down the pecking order at Santiago Bernabeu and becoming a scapegoat for some in the Spanish capital, the Wales international forward has finally made his way through the exits.
Spurs have welcomed a familiar face back onto their books, with a season-long loan deal put in place.
Bale returns to the Premier League with questions being asked of his ability to scale the heights that he once hit, with his form, fitness and attitude falling under the microscope while with the Blancos.
Crouch has no concerns on any of those fronts, with a former team-mate of Bale expecting the proven 31-year-old to help Jose Mourinho and Tottenham chase down major silverware in 2020-21.
The ex-Spurs striker told the Daily Mail of Bale: “He hasn’t changed one single bit.
“He’s won more Champions Leagues than Manchester United and he has got no financial worries but, trust me, he is as hungry as ever.
“All he wanted was to be happy again and now that he is, he’ll bang goals in left, right and centre.
“Fair play to Tottenham for pulling their finger out, as there was interest in Gareth from other clubs.
“I’m not going to say this is a fairytale but it is a piece of business that has left everyone involved — player, club, supporters — delighted. I hope it comes up trumps.”
Crouch took in a spell at Southampton as Bale was making his way through the ranks there, before going on to see a man previously used at left-back become one of the most fearsome forwards in world football while with Tottenham.
“Gareth immediately took my breath away,” Crouch added, with Bale enjoying a meteoric rise to prominence before becoming the most expensive player in world football during the summer of 2013.
“We had brilliant players then, such as Luka Modric, but Gareth was consistently the best in training every single day. If you put him into a match, though, it wasn’t happening for him.
“We couldn’t put our finger on it but Harry Redknapp could see he was low on confidence at left-back. He moved him up the pitch and that was the moment when everything changed.
“It had been like asking Cristiano Ronaldo to play right-back. We started seeing on a Saturday what we saw from Monday to Friday: this flying machine who had it all.
“I’m delighted he is now back at Tottenham.”
Bale hit 55 goals for Spurs during his previous spell in north London, while 105 were recorded while collecting 13 trophies across seven years with Madrid - including two La Liga titles and four Champions League crowns.