Gareth Bale's Tottenham return would boost Wales - John Hartson

Gareth Bale is Wales' record scorer with 33 goals from 85 appearances
Gareth Bale is Wales' record scorer with 33 goals from 85 appearances

Gareth Bale's return to Tottenham Hotspur would not only be a huge boost for the north London side but would also benefit Wales, says John Hartson.

The 31-year-old forward is on the verge of rejoining the club he left seven years ago to sign for Real Madrid for a then-world record £85m.

Bale was mostly sidelined by Real boss Zinedine Zidane last season.

"The one good thing for everybody concerned is he'll be playing regular football," said Wales great Hartson.

"It obviously pulls on the heart-strings, he was such a great player at Spurs and that of course is where he got the £85m record move to Real Madrid.

"I'm sure Gareth is delighted he's got the opportunity to play regularly every week in the Premier League, he's a world-class player and he's going to add so much back.

"He'll keep himself fresh and sharp, and that's very important for his international form.

"I'm sure there's loads and loads of fans delighted around the country to see Gareth Bale back in the Premier League playing on a regular basis."

Bale scored more than 100 goals and won four Champions League titles during his time in Spain, but started 14 games in all competitions in 2019-20 - playing a mere 100 minutes for his club when the 2019-20 La Liga season resumed, as Real clinched a first title since 2017.

His lack of match fitness has seen Wales manager Ryan Giggs forced to consider limiting the game time of his star player for recent Nations League wins over Finland and Bulgaria.

Hartson does not know if the Premier League - and Wales - will see Bale back at his brilliant best, but believes that a fully match-fit Bale will be more than a handful for the opposition.

"I think he's got more to offer but whether or not Gareth will ever hit the heights he hit before he went to Real Madrid, where he was scoring and scoring... incredible goals (I don't know)," Hartson told BBC Sport Wales.

"It's a shame it's ended very sour under Zidane but I believe Gareth feels he can hit those types of performances again, otherwise he would just sit on his backside, stay in Madrid and play golf every day."

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