Robert Pires thinks Arsenal should make a move for Real Madrid winger Gareth Bale, despite the assumption that a return to England would mean a return to Tottenham Hotspur for the player.

gareth bale
Gareth Bale

Bale’s career in Madrid continues to divide opinion. Despite 101 goals and 63 assists in 221 games in Spain, including three goals and one assist in his four Champions League final appearances, there’s still a sense that the 29-year-old hasn’t quite lived up to expectations.

That seems bizarre, but then this is Real Madrid we’re talking about. Most recently, Bale has three goals in his last five league games, but four of those appearances were from the bench, as he struggles to get starts.

If the winger really is still out of favour despite everything he’s achieved, Robert Pires thinks Arsenal should give him the opportunity to return to the Premier League.

“There’s an assumption that he’d go back to Spurs, but I’d encourage Arsenal to open the door to the Emirates for him,” Pires said. “I know Tottenham fans wouldn’t be happy, but Bale would be very welcome at Arsenal.”

PARIS, FRANCE - JUNE 25: Gareth Bale (L) and Aaron Ramsey (R) of Wales celebrate their team's first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – JUNE 25: Gareth Bale (L) and Aaron Ramsey (R) of Wales celebrate their team’s first goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland at Parc des Princes on June 25, 2016, in Paris, France. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

You might think Bale would never make the switch to the Gunners after his time with Spurs, but the Welshman was actually an Arsenal fan when he was younger.

Bale is also close with Aaron Ramsey through the national team and Theo Walcott through his time at Southampton, publicly wishing both well for Arsenal’s FA Cup final in 2015. Both would presumably give good accounts of their time at the Emirates if asked. The winger’s loyalty to Tottenham seems pretty flimsy really.

The problem is Arsenal probably don’t have the funds to sign Bale, even if they wanted to.

Adding one expensive player approaching his thirties to the squad is one thing, but if the club were spending large amounts on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (29), Mesut Özil (30), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (30) and Gareth Bale (29) all at once they’d have to be looking for major success pretty quickly.

It would annoy Tottenham fans though, and that’s always worth the investment.

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Arsenal fan since a young age, now a season ticket holder who enjoys writing, tweeting and making videos about the Gunners.