Roy Keane does not think Gareth Bale will return to the level he played at in years past.
Bale has struggled since his return to Tottenham having signed on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid ahead of this season, most recently producing an underwhelming substitute display in Spurs’ Premier League defeat to Leicester City on Sunday.
The Welsh superstar has seldom started and from the 10 appearances he has made across all competitions – six of them coming in the Europa League – he has scored just two goals.
Bale looks a shadow of his old self and as things stand, it does not look as though it will be a dream return for the forward having come back to Spurs after seven years at Real Madrid.
And according to Manchester United legend turned Sky Sports pundit Keane, Bale may never reach the form everyone was used to seeing in previous years.
“I don’t see Gareth Bale getting back to the level he was a few years ago,” he said. “Top players, you’ve got to play week-in and week-out.
“With (Cristiano) Ronaldo and (Lionel) Messi, and when Bale is at his best – we’re going back a few years now, I know he’s produced big moments in big games – but he looks way off it.”
Former Chelsea striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink disagreed, believing Bale could regain form if he is given the right amount of game time.
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“He needs a run of games,” he said. “You cannot expect him to come on at half-time and change things straight away when he has not had five or six games in a row.
“He’s somebody that needs to get into a rhythm and needs opportunities to play. He’s not played enough for my liking and also, at Real Madrid, he didn’t play, so you need to give him time.”