Gareth Bale’s pending departure has left more than a few Spurs fans down in the dumps and whilst they despair, Arsenal and Liverpool sniff blood in the water at White Hart Lane.
Although the loss of a world-class talent may be felt at first, Spurs fans should have no fears. Gareth Bale’s form was fantastic last season but with Emmanuel Adebayor and Jermain Defoe underperforming, it was not particularly difficult to shine in a team without the attacking guile of Rafael Van Der Vaart and Luka Modric.
If the figures being touted are correct (£80-£100m), it is the sale of the century. Consider that hard-nosed Daniel Levy could put his foot down and demand Bale stays—it would be detrimental to all parties. The Welshman would not replicate last season’s heights and Spurs would be left with a half-price asset next summer (two years of his contract remaining).
Despite, yet again, missing out on Champions League football, the Lillywhites have made progress. They ended the 2012/13 campaign with a record points haul of 72. Furthermore Spurs have already added Brazilian central midfielder Paulinho for £17 million, Belgian winger Nacer Chadli and Spaniard Roberto Soldado for a club-record £26m (subject to a medical). These three signings join an already impressive international roster of Frenchman Hugo Lloris, Belgians Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele plus German Lewis Holtby. Add the return of long-term absentees Sandro and Younes Kaboul and Spurs’ squad will be the envy of many.
If the Bale transfer does, as expected, go through. Spurs stand to make an absolute windfall, plus they could take the latest Spanish starlet, Álvaro Morata, who top-scored during Spain’s recently successful European Under-21 Championships, in addition to the £80m transfer fee.
The North Londoners would then be in a strong bargaining position to add two or three additional high calibre reinforcements, addressing weak areas within the squad. Since ENIC’s acquisition of Spurs in 2001, the Lillywhites have gradually improved from being mid-table perennial under-achievers to gate-crashing the Premier League’s Champions League party.
This has not been a journey without set-backs. For every two steps forward, what tends to follow is one step back. Reluctant sales of Michael Carrick, Dimitar Berbatov and Luka Modric threatened to spoil the hard-earned progress witnessed at White Hart Lane, but to the club's credit the present-day Spurs are a massive improvement to George Graham’s turn-of-the-century Tottenham.
In the past eight seasons, the North Londoners have consolidated their position as a top-five English club, finishing fifth or higher six times and twice finishing fourth.
Importantly, the club has enjoyed coaching stability in a summer that has witnessed high managerial turnover within the top four (both Manchester clubs and at Chelsea). Spurs are taking a gamble by selling Gareth Bale but as per the club’s crest Audere est Facere (To Dare Is To Do) they need to focus on life post-Gareth Bale in order to give themselves a significant chance of rubbing shoulders with the big boys from London and Manchester.