The former Lilywhites striker has been disappointed by the experienced winger’s form since his return to north London.
Gareth Bale is “not producing” for Jose Mourinho, according to Dimitar Berbatov, who says Tottenham may have to send the Welshman back to Real Madrid.
Bale has struggled for regular minutes and full fitness since returning to Tottenham on a season-long loan from Madrid in September.
The experienced winger’s first spell at Spurs came to an end when he joined the Blancos for a then-world record fee of £85 million ($116m) in 2013, and he went on to score over 100 goals at Santiago Bernabeu while also earning two Liga winners’ medals and four Champions League titles.
However, the 31-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by Zinedine Zidane ahead of the 2020-21 campaign, having been left out of his starting XI for most of the previous season.
Tottenham supporters hoped Bale would rediscover his best form in familiar surroundings, but he has only managed to score three goals in 12 appearances under Mourinho with most of those outings coming from the substitute’s bench.
Berbatov initially felt the Wales international was the ideal man to complete a fearsome attacking triumvirate at his old club, but he admits that his former team-mate has ultimately been unable to stamp his mark on the current squad over the past few months.
The former Spurs striker told Stats Perform News: “I was expecting a lot of him coming to Spurs, to shake things up and for him, Son and Kane to make it a trio up front that can rival the Liverpool attacking trio, for example.
“For the moment it is 100 per cent not working. Hopefully he can get back to 100 per cent and start playing. If not, in the end, it is an easy decision – he can go back to Madrid.
“Whatever the reason [for his lack of games], Gareth Bale is injury-free now because he’s on the bench for the team, but he’s not playing from the first minute so it means that obviously he’s not producing the right level of football Jose Mourinho wants from him, which is a shame because I like him a lot.”
Bale will hope to return to the fold when Mourinho’s side take in a trip to Wycombe in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Monday, before their focus shifts back to the Premier League and a meeting with reigning champions Liverpool three days later.