Mauricio Pochettino says Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale is welcome to return to Spurs if he decides life in Spain is too tough.
The Welshman remains a favourite on the White Hart Lane terraces having starred for the north London side prior to his departure to Los Blancos in the summer of 2013.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a spectacular opening season at the Santiago Bernabeu, netting the winner in the Copa del Rey final, as well a scoring Madrid’s crucial second goal as they clinched the Champions League and ending the 12-year wait for La Decima.
But this season he has found it tough going and has been the target of plenty of criticism from fans and the media alike.
In quotes published by FourFourTwo, Pochettino said Bale was welcome back any time. “If he is not comfortable in Madrid, we keep his place warm back here. We are open for him,” the Argentine said.
He went on to add that players always need time to adapt to their new surroundings when the move to a new country, and that people should be patient with Bale.
“It is, of course, not easy when you arrive at a huge club like Real Madrid, and the way they play. Gareth Bale has the quality to make a success, he just needs time. When [Zinedine] Zidane went to Real Madrid, the first season was very difficult for him, with a lot of critics. He needed time to adapt.
“The cultures are very different between England and Spain. It is very difficult for English players to arrive in Spain, there is a Siesta, you eat later. It is better when you come from Spain to England, when you go there, you need one or two seasons to adapt.”