This week it has all been about Gareth Bale’s possible transfer to Real Madrid. Real have made a £85 million bid for Bale but have seen it rejected by Levy with various sources reporting Bale has told AVB he wants out of Tottenham. Maybe, Levy wants a player involved in the deal. Reports are saying Luca Modric could be involved in the deal but I cannot see any player(s) from Real going to Tottenham for two reasons.
Firstly, why would any top player from Real Madrid want to go to a team that is not even in the Champions League? I know it is a World Cup year but surely if you want to come to the EPL, you would try and sign for an EPL team that is in the Champions League such as Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United; if failing that, you would likely go to another team in Europe that have at least qualified for the Champions League. Also, what player other than Bale would want to be involved in such a deal. It would be pretty demeaning for the player involved, as if he was just a mere accessory in the world’s biggest ever transfer.
I think Levy does not want any player involved in the deal and would just rather Real offer a bid closer to £100 million which I am pretty certain he’ll accept.
The deal looks very likely to go through and next season we will probably see Gareth Bale in a Real Madrid shirt, as Madrid normally get their man. So, if we assume that Bale will be sold for at least £85, what effect will this have on Tottenham and Arsenal.
The first scenario, and perhaps the simplest way to look at the transfer of Bale to Real Madrid:
Tottenham have already signed: Chadli from FC Twente for around £7 million, Paulinho from Corinthians for around £17 million, are close to signing Soldado from Valencia for £26 million (with personal terms being discussed between the Soldado’s agents and Tottenham representatives), have sold Caulker to Cardiff City for around £8 million and I think are also looking to sign a defender (CB or LB) of some sort.
There could be a scenario where the Spuds lose Bale a (super quality player) but reinvest the money from the sale of Bale by purchasing two top quality attacking players (whether that be two wingers or a winger and an AM) and maybe buy another defender (CB or LB). Spurs would replace the quality of Bale and would have strength in depth.
If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?
Arsenal would be affected in a number of ways:
1) Our chances of winning the EPL title or at least challenging for the EPL title will decrease.
If Spurs can reinvest the money from the sale of Bale in some quality players, in addition to the likes of Chadli, Paulinho and maybe Soldado, they will no doubt be a stronger team. They would have the quality and the strength in depth required to put in a serious title challenge, and if Wenger does not make the signings needed to take us to the next level we might not be celebrating St Totteringham’s Day at the end of next season.
2) Our chances of finishing in one of the coveted CL spots next season would be significantly reduced.
A follow on from the first point really. Although the Spuds will have the resources to challenge for the EPL title, the likes of United, City and Chelsea also do. So it could come down to the wire once again next season and if Wenger does not make the right signings we could be the team finishing 5th behind Tottenham. So in addition to Spurs finishing above us (which they have not done for 18 years), we could also end up in the Europa League. From that point we could go on a downwards spiral like Liverpool.
3) Winning the other domestic competitions i.e. FA Cup & League Cup would be even harder.
Spurs have always been a good cup team winning the FA Cup 8 times and the League Cup 4 times. Spurs have always been more of a cup team than a league team as they struggle with consistency and with the right squad they will have a very good chance of getting to the latter stages of the cups (semi-finals and finals) and may well knock us out in the process. They would also be able to field strong teams in the cups as well as the league due to the addition of more quality players.
Spurs may well become title contenders, be able challenge for the FA and League cups and definitely be in the running for one of the Champions League spots, as they would now have the quality and strength in depth to sustain any success/form.
However, there is another way to look at it. The loss of Bale and Spurs getting a substantial amount of cash as a result, could actually leave Spurs in a worse off position than had Bale stayed. This is the second scenario.
With Bale gone, Tottenham would have to look to bring in one or two quality attacking players to replace the firepower of Bale, as well as maybe purchasing players in other positions. But this could prove to be very difficult for Tottenham when they actually try to do this, for a number of reasons:
1) Lack of top quality players left on the market
Most of the top quality players who Spurs would be looking to sign, to replace Bale and/or add depth to other areas of the squad that need strengthening will be unavailable. These players will either have already moved clubs, signed a new contract with their existing club (dedicating themselves to their current club) or just will not be for sale at any price.
2) No Champions League football
This is perhaps the biggest stumbling block Tottenham will hit when trying to sign top quality players. Spurs are not in the CL and therefore cannot offer the (very important) prospect of playing CL football which is vital in attracting the top quality players they would need to replace Bale. AVB would also not be able to offer ‘playing with Bale’ as an incentive either which is how they persuaded Paulinho to join them. Paulinho was given assurances that Bale would not leave Tottenham.
They would find it very hard to be able to get this caliber of player to buy into their project (qualifying for the CL and eventually challenging for and winning trophies every season) as Bale who is the biggest, most important and the key man of the project has left the club. If he did not believe in the project, why would these players.
Players can of course be persuaded to join clubs who are not in the CL, by the club paying the players huge wages. Just look at Monoco. They have signed the likes of Radamel Falcao, João Moutinho, James Rodríguez, Ricardo Carvalho, Éric Abidal and Jérémy Toulalan but the problem is Tottenham just cannot pay those sort of high wages needed to persuade top players (who may be motivated by money as well as success) to join their club.
3) Lack of time to bring in quality replacements
We all know that Spud’s chairman Daniel Levy drives a hard bargain and is one of the best around when it comes to getting the best deal possible for players who want to leave Tottenham. The problem here is that while the deal is being dragged out and Levy is waiting for an offer that is right for him to sell, the very few top quality players who are still available and the even fewer amount of players who are willing to join Tottenham, even though they cannot offer CL football is getting even smaller. This could lead to Levy having to panic buy and bring in average players as last minute replacements close to (or even on) deadline day or may even bring in no replacement(s).
4) Inflation on price of transfer targets
It will be known to the world that Daniel Levy and AVB will have millions to spend after the sale of Bale and more importantly they will be looking to spend it. Clubs who Spurs are looking to buy from will most likely inflate the prices for their players, in order to get the best deal possible, knowing that Spurs have money to spend. This could eventually lead to Levy and AVB having to give up their pursuit of trying to sign top quality players and instead paying over the odds to bring in average players or again bring in no replacement.
Points 1 and 4 (possibly in the case of Higuain) apply to us as well. Even though we can offer CL football to players, we are struggling to acquire the top quality players we need to push for the title (put a genuine title challenge in) because a lot of the top players are either unavailable, happy at the club they are currently at or would rather go to a club that is in a better position than ourselves right now. A club that is regularly challenging for titles as well as winning them. If we are finding it hard to attract top quality players even though we can offer CL football, imagine how hard Spurs will find it.
So in fact there is a very good chance that the Spuds would not be able to replace the quality of Bale for the reasons mentioned above.
If this scenario was to become reality, how would Arsenal be affected?
Well the answer to this question is very simple. Even with the additions of Chadli, Paulinho, maybe Soldado and another defender, Tottenham would find it very difficult to finish in the top four regardless of whether we make any signings or not. While they will be more solid defensively and concede less goals with the signing of Paulinho and Sandro returning from injury, the likes of Soldado and Chadli will not be able to replace the quality of Bale. Bale was Tottenham’s leading goal scorer with 21 league goals. He created a lot of these goals by himself and a fair bunch were wonder goals. So Tottenham would have to improve their overall team play i.e creating chances and breaking down the opposition, if the team (as a whole) are going to score anywhere near the amount of goals Bale scored last season. The problem is Tottenham are not blessed with goal scorers so they will struggle achieve this.
So we would almost be guaranteed 4th place again if were to make the right signings and could be genuine title contenders. With Arsene fielding more experienced teams in the domestic cups we would also stand a very good chance of winning a cup.
In conclusion I feel the sale of Bale to Real will lead to the second scenario becoming reality. The second scenario represents the reality of the modern transfer market, where they are twists and turns at every corner and if Bale goes to Real Madrid we should have nothing to worry about.
Although, Spurs have already acquired Chadli, Paulinho and are close to signing Soldado, by selling Bale to Real Madrid they will be taking one step forward and two steps back, in my opinion.
This transfer window we will be looking to add quality players to our current squad, which will compliment our current quality players i.e. Santi Cazorla, Wilshere, Walcott, Koscielny etc, meanwhile Tottenham will be looking to replace their best player and rebuild their team before the start new season which is only a few weeks away.
Would Bale going to Real Madrid improve our chances of winning/competing for trophies?
Which scenario (out of the two) will become reality for Tottenham if/when Bale goes to Real Madrid?
Written by: AFC
A special thanks to Aman who suggested such a post be written on Bergkampesque.