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Would Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale be a Welsh wonder or wanderer abroad?

John Charles, Ian Rush, Mark Hughes, Dean SaundersGareth Bale?

The Spurs winger has been in sensational form this season and is slowly forging a reputation as one of the best of the rest behind the indomitable pair Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Welshman has recently been playing in a more central role and his pace, strength, dribbling ability and potent finishing has again caught the eye; which culminated in a stunning performance against Newcastle last Saturday.

Now all this good form has fuelled rumour of a big money move away from White Hart Lane for one of the Premier League’s hottest talents. Not only is he being linked with a big-money move away from North London; he is being linked with a big money move away from the UK entirely.

It is widely reported that he will be the key transfer target for both Real Madrid and Barcelona this summer; with the capital club apparently holding all the aces at the moment.

First of all Spurs would be mad to sell him even for a ridiculous sum of money as he is pivotal toward building a more successful future for the club as a perennial Champions League outfit. However Bale has in the past made it clear that he would consider a move to Spain and that decision may come around this summer.

It has also been mentioned in the past however that Bale is something of a ‘mummy’s boy’ and may not be too keen on a move away from the club.

One ex-player who has sounded a small word of warning is Ian Rush. He himself knows a thing or two about playing abroad and being a fellow Welshman he felt it only right to give Bale a word of advice on the matter at hand:

‘’It's got to be something he's happy with. You will learn when you go abroad, but would he be happy? It was [moving to Italy] a big culture shock. It's a bit easier in today's world than it was 20-odd years ago. But it's got to be something Gareth's happy with. If you're not happy you won't produce your best football. He's happy what he's doing [at Spurs] and that's what it's all about."

Rush’s time in Juventus was deemed a failure, despite 14 goals in his one season in Turin, and he soon returned to Liverpool but many other Welsh stars have moved abroad to play their football with the most high profile having varying results.

Mark Hughes’ move to Barcelona was not a success but his spell on loan at Bayern Munich was; Dean Saunders banged in the goals for Galatasaray but did not replicate that form at Benfica. Then there is arguably the greatest ever Brit to play abroad; John Charles. Still a legend at Juventus ‘Il Gigante Bueno’ scored over a hundred goals in his five years in Turin and is still held in high regard at the Bianconeri to this day.

For Bale he will have to look at these historical examples of Welshman who have decided to try and string their bows across the water and wonder whether he too has the ability to be a John Charles at Juve or would he be more of a Mark Hughes at Barca?

Would Bale be a hit abroad?

image: © Jan S0L0

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