Former boss Glenn Hoddle thinks Tottenham will get a boost from signing Gareth Bale at Southampton this weekend, even if he does not play.
Bale has joined Spurs on a season-long loan from Real Madrid, returning to the club seven years after he left.
He is not expected to be involved at St Mary’s in the Sunday lunchtime kick-off, but Hoddle thinks the hype surrounding his signing will rub off on to the Spurs players.
“It will be too quick for Gareth to be involved but Spurs will be lifted with the Real Madrid players coming to the club, that will give them a buzz and a spring in their step,” he told the PA news agency. “It is really going to be an interesting game.
“Both haven’t started very well, I know Spurs got over the line in the Europa League, but it was a bit fortuitous. A win is a win I think they will give them a lift and I think Southampton are looking to start the season, they have found it really hard.
“I am looking forward to it, I think it is going to be a challenge for both teams, but I can see a draw coming out of it.”
Bale’s arrival back at Spurs is a huge statement of intent as Jose Mourinho tries to become the man to deliver trophies to the club.
The Welshman is 31 now, but Hoddle thinks that is not a factor considering his relatively inactive final two years in Madrid.
“For Gareth Bale it is quite simple, if he was an engine, the mileage on the car is quite good, he hasn’t done a lot of the last couple of years, it is not like he has been playing 40 games,” the BT Sport pundit, who will be covering the game on Sunday, said.
“If they can get the engine in good shape, that is his body, and be sensible with him I think we can see a real impact.
“People are saying he is 31 and that he is not going to be as good a player as he was before at Tottenham or the height of Real Madrid but he is going to be a better player in many ways because of the experience he has got.
“The last two years hasn’t taken its toll, the engine is not knackered, put it that way. It’s about whether his body can maintain the Premier League. Jose will recognise that and it is crucial to what impact he has.”
Spurs will be coming up against a striker they are keen on signing, have made enquiries for Danny Ings.
Ings has attracted Spurs’ attention after a fine goalscoring season last year, which included three goals in four games against Spurs.
Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl has categorically insisted Ings is not for sale, but Hoddle says the south coast club are going to be in a difficult position.
“The problem for Southampton is that if you can create good players and teams then sometimes they can get dismantled and that has been the problem for them over the years and will be again with Ings.
“Who can blame clubs for looking at him, he is coming into his peak in many ways. Clubs will be looking at him, he knows the Premier League, he knows how to score goals and if you give him chances he will score.
“It is a chicken with the egg with the Saints, they want him to do well but if he does too well then he might be snapped away.”
:: The BT Sport Monthly Pass lets you watch BT Sport for a simple monthly fee of £25 with no contract. Customers can watch all BT Sport Premier League fixtures for the next 30 days including Southampton vs Spurs from 11.30am on Sunday 20th September. For more info visit bt.com/monthlypass
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