Tottenham forward Gareth Bale will have confirmed in his mind that he made the right choice by rejecting a move to Manchester United when he saw his new side thrash them 6-1 at Old Trafford. That’s the opinion of former Arsenal defender Martin Keown, who believes the Welshman will have his minutes restricted at first by Jose Mourinho.
Bale is set to make his first Premier League appearance in seven years this Sunday.
Having signed his one-year loan agreement while still nursing a knee injury, the winger has been unavailable for all of Tottenham’s games so far this season.
However, having stayed in north London to train and rehabilitate during the international break, he has now fully recovered and will be involved in some form this Sunday against West Ham.
After deciding to leave Madrid, Bale had the option of signing for United, with Ed Woodward and co on the hunt for an alternative for Jadon Sancho.
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But the Welshman opted instead for a return to Spurs, and Keown believes the fans will welcome him with open arms.
Tottenham have been on fire this season, and many believe they are set to mount a challenge for the Premier League title under Mourinho.
Their most recent game before the international break saw them thrash United 6-1 at Old Trafford, which was their third in a row across all competitions.
And Keown claimed in his Daily Mail column that Bale will have been all the more confident that he made the right decision to snub United after watching the 6-1 demolition.
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He also warned Spurs fans that because of Bale’s injury history, Mourinho will likely take time and restrict his minutes for the first team.
Keown wrote: “This is his honeymoon period, but I’m sure he realises the supporters will be looking for something special from him on the pitch.
“I found myself trying too hard in my first few matches and Bale has to be careful.
“Anyone who has appeared in both the Premier League and La Liga will tell you which one is the more demanding and the Welshman hasn’t played regularly for some time.
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“I’m sure Jose Mourinho will be thinking about managing his minutes and Spurs’ medical team will be all over it, too.
“They handled Harry Kane’s return from a nasty injury with great care.
“Bale will have watched his new team tear apart Manchester United — the club he could have joined instead — and felt he made the right call.
“He will want to get on the pitch and join the party but he needs to go easy. At 31, he is young enough to achieve big things with Tottenham.”
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