Bale: I've been happy all season

By Patric Ridge 1 March 2021 116
Bale: I've been happy all season

Gareth Bale dismissed the suggestion he has been frustrated during his second stint with Tottenham, insisting he has "been happy all season".

Bale marked just his third Premier League start of 2020-21 in style on Sunday, scoring twice and setting up another goal with a superb long pass as Spurs thrashed Burnley 4-0.

The 31-year-old, signed in loan from Real Madrid in September, opened the scoring after 68 seconds – the quickest goal conceded by Burnley in the Premier League – and Bale has now been directly involved in seven goals in his last four appearances for Tottenham in all competitions (four goals, three assists).

It has been far from plain sailing for the Wales star since his return to north London, however, with fitness struggles having made Jose Mourinho reluctant to hand Bale regular chances to impress in the league.

Mourinho also seemed frustrated when Bale asked to miss Spurs' trip to Everton in the FA Cup earlier this month, as he nursed a slight injury.

Bale, though, affirmed that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time back at the club where he became a global superstar.

"It's not just about scoring. It's about our all-round play and helping the team," Bale told BBC Sport.

"I'm delighted with the goals and the assist and whatever I can do for the team.

"I've been happy all season. In the dressing room I feel comfortable and I'm having fun. I'm happy and I'm sure it's showing on the pitch."

Having scored from two of his three attempts, while also brilliantly teeing up Harry Kane to put Spurs 2-0 ahead, Bale was taken off in the 70th minute.

"I wasn't upset to be substituted," he said. "There are a lot of games to come. It's important to keep building minutes each game."

A player who has clearly enjoyed combining with Bale is Son Heung-min, who created both of the Welshman's goals, becoming the third player to lay on two assists for him in the same Premier League match, after Rafael van der Vaart versus Blackburn Rovers in November 2010 and Aaron Lennon against QPR in October 2011.

Son created a game-high six chances, his joint-most in a single Premier League game, and the South Korea forward was quickto praise his team-mate.

"Bale is, no matter what, the best player in the world," Son told Goal Korea.

"He prepared a lot, and showed a good performance as a starter. He helped our team. I think it's important to go out to the pitch where you've become a player and make a figure that is helpful to the team. I think Bale showed it."

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