For a team that are going to be playing in the Europa League this campaign, Tottenham may struggle to find someone to replace Bale like-for-like, or maybe not be able to do it at all.
If I was Andre Villas-Boas, which I’m not, but I hope I look that good at 35 like the husky-voiced man, I wouldn’t set my sights on replacing Bale with a player who’s a carbon copy. Because truthfully, there isn’t really many players that play like the Welshman who are of the same calibre. Instead, I would replace his contribution, which in fairness, with the signing of Roberto Soldado who is a prolific goal scorer from Valencia; it may weigh in with a proportion of what Gareth Bale did on the goal tallies last year.
Even if Bale doesn’t leave Tottenham this summer, there is still a definitive hole on Tottenham’s left flank that needs plugging, especially if Bale remains central behind the lone-striker and with Clint Dempsey sold to the Seattle Sounders in the last couple of days, there’s not very many options. I’m not sure of the Andros Townsend situation. Though, if he does stay at White Hart Lane this year instead of being loaned out, he could easily make that flank his own after a stellar latter half of the campaign for QPR last year. It could be a bit of a transition period for Tottenham’s left flank this year as people seem to be cottoning onto the fact Beniot Assou-Ekotto is a woeful excuse for a player (I have said this since day one) and with Danny Rose’s loan deal at Sunderland complete, he would definitely be my first choice left fullback if AVB doesn’t decide to buy a replacement.
The only two players I can think of that could come close to replacing Bale, in style of play-wise, are Hatem Ben Arfa of Newcastle or Erik Lamela from Roma. Both are incredibly agile, quick off the mark and got a trick or two. I’m not sure if Newcastle regards Ben Arfa as indispensable to their cause, I mean they’ve played enough times without him during his numerous stints on the injured list, so it’s not like they would miss him that much if he would ever leave. Lamela is twenty years old and is always talked very highly of by football journalists. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen himself but I trust people’s opinion on him and with Roma signing Arsenal *ahem* legend, Gervinho, it will be a softer blow if Lamela does leave Roma.