Mabbutt insists Bale is still world-class

Gary Mabbutt has told Football FanCast that Gareth Bale remains a “world-class” player as he looks to return to his best form at Tottenham Hotspur.

The Wales international has looked more like his old self in recent weeks under Jose Mourinho.

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Following a match-altering cameo appearance against West Ham, Bale scored in the Europa League tie with Wolfsberger, and followed that up with a brace against Burnley at the weekend.

It comes after doubts over Bale’s fitness and form throughout the first few months of his spell at Spurs, as he battled injury problems sustained during his time with Real Madrid.

Nevertheless, Mabbutt, a Spurs legend, insists that the Welshman is still one of the best players on the planet, and has hit out at anyone who suggests otherwise.

He told FFC exclusively: “Of course, he’s still a world class player. I can’t. I can’t take it. I see people saying, ‘oh, he’s maybe past his best’, nonsense. He’s won four Champions Leagues.

“He’s 31. For goodness sake, he’s got a number of years left in him. If you get slightly older, you don’t maybe have that extra bit of sharpness. We have that extra experience that knows how to use that to your advantage, experience and knowledge counts for a lot.”

Bale could still have a huge role to play as the season continues, with Spurs currently fighting to return to the top four and also into the League Cup final against Manchester City, while they will play Dinamo Zagreb in the last-16 of the Europa League.

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And Mabbutt believes that Bale’s experience and knowhow will be key as Spurs look to end a trophy drought that stretches back to 2008.

He added: “Believe me, there’s no one within the club that’s got more experience than Gareth as far as winning things on the football field, though.

“I think he’s a great player. I think he’s got a great, great attitude. I think in the dressing room, he’s a player that everyone gets on with. He’s a player that creates a good atmosphere within the dressing room. And of course, the ability that he has, he can win games for you.”

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