Paul Merson made the stunning claim that Gareth Bale would not get into the West Ham team, when speaking on Sky Sports’ Gillette Soccer Saturday programme today (February 20th, 13:27).

Read also: Has Jose Mourinho just dropped a massive clanger ahead of Tottenham’s clash with West Ham?

The Hammers play host to Spurs at the London Stadium tomorrow in what is an absolutely huge game for both sides.

There has been talk that Bale could start for Tottenham against West Ham tomorrow.

Wolfsberger AC v Tottenham Hotspur  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
Gareth Bale (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

The 31-year-old joined Spurs on a season-long loan in the summer.

Bale earns £600k-a-week from his parent club Real Madrid but Spurs are only paying £220k-a-week towards that salary (The Telegraph).

The Wales international has struggled to make much of an impact since returning to north London, however. The Tottenham fans were certainly expecting more from Bale.

Paul Merson makes stunning Gareth Bale claim

There is still plenty of football left to be played this season, however. And perhaps it’s too early to write off the Welshman just yet.

 

Merson believes that Bale is just not the same player anymore, however. Merse told Sky Sports:

Wolfsberger AC v Tottenham Hotspur  - UEFA Europa League Round Of 32 Leg One
Gareth Bale (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)

“I was a big fan of Gareth Bale. I’ll ask the question: Would he play for West Ham tomorrow if he was at West Ham? I don’t think he would get into the West Ham team tomorrow. It’s horses for courses. We were all good players but times change.”

That is quite the claim from Merson. When you consider how Moyes sets his West Ham team up, however, it does kind of make sense.

The Scot places huge emphasis on defensive responsibility from his attackers. Perhaps there is the argument to be had that Bale is not suited to the way in which the Hammers play.

On his day, the 31-year-old Tottenham star was one of the very best players in world football. As Merson says, however, times have changed. Bale is not the player he once was.

And the fact that Merson is even questioning whether the Spurs ace would get into the West Ham term goes to show just how far the East London outfit have come over the past 12 months.

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