The worrying photo of Gareth Bale that came out of Tottenham’s 1-0 win over West Brom
Tottenham had their patience tested as they eventually battled to a 1-0 victory over West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns.
The newly-promoted Baggies, who are still searching for their first win of the season, eventually succumbed to a Harry Kane header in the 88th minute.
It was probably never going to be a classic, with four of the last seven fixtures between the two sides ending in a 1-1 draw.
Yet on this occasion, Jose Mourinho’s men eventually found a way to break Slaven Bilic’s side down.
The north Londoners started with an attack boasting 25 goal involvements between them, with Kane starting alongside Heung-min Son and Gareth Bale.
But it was a disappointing day in the Midlands for the Welshman.
Bale didn’t muster a single shot on target or create a chance.
The Real Madrid loanee had two attempts off target, only managed a 25% cross accuracy and failed to complete a third of his passes.
A decidedly underwhelming afternoon then got even worse as he suffered a knock and was taken off, replaced by Lucas Moura in the 78th minute.
Mourinho’s decision was quickly explained when an image appeared of Bale’s foot being bandaged by Tottenham’s medical staff.
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Daniel Levy will have been hoping the forward can avoid the injury problems that plagued him at the Bernabeu.
Given his reported wages of £500,000-a-week (with Madrid paying half, per the Daily Mail) Spurs will have shelled out around £1 million before he even made an appearance.
Now that he is enjoying game time, it looks as though he may have already suffered a setback.
The international break now interrupts Premier League fixtures for the next fortnight.
It’s unclear if Bale was being treated by the physios as a mere precaution and whether he will be fit to play for Wales against the USA on Thursday.
Mourinho had already voiced his concern over his star man linking up with his country, albeit for very different reasons – Wales will be led by Robert Page and Albert Stuivenberg in Ryan Giggs’ absence, with the latter also working for Arsenal.
“Honestly, it doesn’t make me very comfortable,” Mourinho was quoted by The Guardian.
“National team matches should have coaches that work exclusively for them, not coaches who work for other clubs.”
Both Spurs and Wales will want clarification on the severity of Bale’s knock as soon as possible.