Comparing the team on Gareth Bale’s last Spurs game to their current Xl

Gareth Bale could make a fairytale return to Tottenham this summer, seven years after leaving the club for Real Madrid. 

Bale is out of favour under Zinedine Zidane and could join Spurs on a one-year loan deal, with Madrid subsidising 50% of his £500,000 a week wages.

We’ve looked at the starting XI from Bale’s last game at the club, a 1-0 win at Sunderland in 2013, and compared it to the team that lost 1-0 against Everton in September 2020.

Hugo Lloris – Hugo Lloris

Lloris moved to north London from Lyon in 2012 and has been a mainstay between the Tottenham sticks for the past eight years.

The France international has made over 300 appearances for the club in all completions, establishing himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

He’s also been club captain since August 2015.

READ: Ranking Tottenham’s 16 Premier League goalkeepers from worst to best

Kyle Walker – Matt Doherty

Walker beat Bale to the PFA Young Player of the Year award in 2011-12 but was never going to repeat the trick in 2012-13.

The right-back continued to impress and completed a £50million move to Manchester City in 2017, where he has won two Premier League titles.

Serge Aurier failed to fill the void left by Walker, and Doherty joined the club in a £15million deal in 2020 after starring for Wolves.

QUIZ: Can you name every PFA Young Player of the Year since 1992?

Michael Dawson – Toby Alderweireld

A Tottenham stalwart, Dawson spent nine years at White Hart Lane before moving on to Hull City in 2014.

After a loan spell with Southampton, Alderweireld joined Spurs in 2015 and developed into one of the best defenders in the Premier League.

He won Tottenham’s Player of the Year award in his debut season and recently signed a new three-and-a-half year deal at the club.

Jan Vertonghen – Eric Dier

Vertonghen joined Spurs from Ajax in 2012 and was named in the PFA Team of the Year in his debut season in England.

The Belgium international went on to form a formidable centre-back partnership with Alderweireld and made over 300 appearances for the club before joining Benfica in 2020.

Having mainly been used as a holding midfielder under Mauricio Pochettino, Dier is now being deployed as a centre-back by Jose Mourinho.

READ: The incredible XI of Ajax academy graduates still playing elsewhere

Benoit Assou-Ekotto – Ben Davies

Despite famously admitting that he played football for money rather than any great love for the sport, Assou-Ekotto made 202 appearances for Spurs.

The left-back got released by the club in February 2015 and was last seen denying Harry Redknapp’s claims that he was hoping to become a porn star.

Davies has shared left-back duties with Danny Rose for the last six years and will face further competition from impending arrival Sergio Reguilon.

Scott Parker – Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg

Parker joined Spurs after winning the FWA Footballer of the Year award in 2010-11 and formed a brilliant partnership with Luka Modric in the middle of the park.

But the England international was deemed surplus to requirements in 2013 following the arrivals of Paulinho and Etienne Capoue and joined Fulham on a permanent deal.

Spurs have been crying out for a solid midfield enforcer since Victor Wanyama left and decided to bring in Hojbjerg from Southampton in 2020.

“My biggest strength is making other players better,” Hojbjerg told the Football Ramble podcast in May 2020. “Supporting them, playing the right balls, doing the right runs, fighting for them, feeding them, analysing the game, reading the game.

“Of course, I have qualities but to be the guy who brings the team together to get the best out of everyone is what I really feel very comfortable in and strong in.”

Moussa Dembele – Harry Winks

When Dembele was in full flight for Tottenham, there were few more enjoyable players to watch in the Premier League.

The Belgium international joined the club from Fulham in 2012 and quickly established himself as a key member of the team’s midfield before injuries took their toll.

Winks has divided opinion since coming through the youth ranks at Spurs but has already made 144 first-team appearances for his boyhood club.

READ: Mousa Dembele: The supercar of a midfielder with a tank’s body count

Aaron Lennon – Lucas Moura

Lennon was a loyal servant to Tottenham, making 364 appearances in all competitions for the club and being involved in the run to the Champions League quarter-finals.

The winger soon fell out of favour under Mauricio Pochettino and ended his 10-year stint at White Hart Lane by joining Everton in 2015.

While Lucas has been infuriatingly inconsistent since moving to north London in January 2018, his hat-trick against Ajax will live long in the memory for Spurs fans.

Gareth Bale – Dele Alli

Bale ended an incredible individual season with a late 90th-minute winner against Sunderland before completing his £86million move to Madrid.

The Wales intentional has won four Champions Leagues and two La Liga titles in Spain but now looks set to return to Spurs.

Alli had a brilliant start to life at Spurs after joining from MK Dons in 2015, winning the PFA Young Player of the Year award in his first two seasons.

But his career has stagnated in recent years, and the midfielder was even substituted at half-time against Everton.

READ: If Gareth Bale is still good enough to do this, he’s still good enough for Spurs

Clint Dempsey – Son Heung-min

Dempsey failed to replicate his goalscoring heroics from his time at Fulham and was sold to Seattle Sounders after just one season at Spurs.

Despite enduring a slow start to life at Spurs following his 2015 move from Bayer Leverkusen, Son has developed into one of the best players in the Premier League.

He’s also really fun to watch.

READ: 17 times Tottenham’s Son Heung-min utterly humiliated opposition players

Emmanuel Adebayor – Harry Kane

Having played for north London rivals Arsenal, Adebayor was never going to be a fan favourite at Spurs, but he had a decent return of 42 goals in 113 appearances for the club.

Kane spent 2012-13 on loan at Norwich and Leicester City before enjoying an incredible breakthrough season in 2014-15, and it’s fair to say he hasn’t looked back since

The striker has already scored 143 Premier League goals, 46 more goals than Adebayor managed in his entire career.

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Mousa Dembele: The supercar of a midfielder with a tank’s body count