As Gareth Bale is crowned Player of the Year for a second time, we look at the next steps of previous winners.
Gareth Bale is going to Real Madrid. Actually, they’ve baulked at his price. So instead he is going to Manchester United. Or he is staying where he is…but only if Tottenham reach the Champions League.
It must be getting pretty boring for Spurs fans….and they have months and possibly years of it ahead of them.
The truth is no one except the Welshman knows what his short and long-term future holds. And even history, so often a reliable map for the future, doesn’t help in this instance.
If you take a look at the last six winners of the PFA Player of the Year award, two have stayed, two have gone, and two have been Gareth Bale.
The best players in our top flight have mixed form when it comes to what they did next.
Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney remained at Old Trafford, while Cristiano Ronaldo left there and Robin van Persie later arrived.
So if there is one link to be made from all this nonsense, it is that Bale may one day end up at United.
But the fact is, Bale could and possibly should take a leaf out of Giggs’ and Rooney’s books and stay at the club with whom he won the award.
There is no doubt his talent deserves the biggest and brightest stage of all. Which is why Andre Villas-Boas must do everything he can to beat either Arsenal or Chelsea to that golden ticket that is a top four spot.
But should they do so, Tottenham are on the verge of a new dawn. They are building a team that can not only qualify for the European elite, but compete among it.
Bale has grown from the player who couldn’t buy a win in his early days at White Hart Lane, to one of the best in Europe.
Just as Ronaldo grew in front of our eyes, Bale is doing the same.
He will have decisions to make, possibly every season for the rest of his career.
He could turn Tottenham into something great again. Or perhaps they should simply enjoy him for as long as he is there – be that a season or a decade.
Bale will ultimately be the player who sways the facts one way or the other; the Player of the Year who tipped the balance in either the direction of staying or moving on.
Should he stay, my money is on him making it a hat-trick of awards next season.
Where do you see Bale playing in the future? And how good can he ultimately be?
image: © Jan S0L0