After nearly 20 days out of action, Gareth Bale returned to the Tottenham side Sunday during their 3-1 win against Manchester City.
In his absence, Spurs had been dumped out of the Europa League—on penalties to Basel of Switzerland—and held to a 2-2 draw by Everton at White Hart Lane.
With him back in the team, they came from behind against a City side who had recently beaten Manchester United in the Premier League and Chelsea in the FA Cup semifinal.
Bale contributed a goal and an assist in the match and, although it's unfair to call Tottenham a one man team (via The Telegraph), he's gradually becoming as much of an asset to them as Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are to Real Madrid and Barcelona.
That is why it is so important for them to get into the Champions League—to keep him.
They currently occupy fifth place, but if they win their game in hand, they would leapfrog Arsenal and move into the top four. Even then though, they're not guaranteed to hang onto the Welsh international.
For a long time now Bale has been the center of transfer talk (via The Guardian). Real Madrid have often been touted as front runners, and should he pack in England for Spain, he would prove a great tactical fit for La Liga.
Not because he possesses any particular skill which makes him suitable to the Spanish league per say, but because he benefits from a host of attributes which would fit into any of Europe's top five leagues.
Some players are pigeon holed to produce, supposedly, only in certain leagues. Bale's talent would definitely be welcomed anywhere.
Former Barcelona player Gaizka Mendieta (via TalkSport) has no doubts over how well Tottenham's No. 11 would fit in at the Bernabeu:
"He's technically good enough to play for Real Madrid, he would do very well. He’s got the pace. It would make Real Madrid so strong to have him and Cristiano Ronaldo on both flanks."
The evolution of Bale positionally has been phenomenal. From a left back who couldn't win a game when he first joined Spurs from Southampton—he was linked with a move to Birmingham City (via Daily Mail) at one point—to a marauding, lightning fast left winger, into the one-man destruction machine we see today.
A heat map of his performance Sunday against Man City demonstrates how much freedom he is now afforded on the pitch:
His pace would frighten any defender in La Liga and his left foot would would be at the epicenter of many goals.
At Real Madrid, he would enhance an already-nightmare-worthy, counter-attacking game. At Barcelona, he would add the finishing prowess that Alexis Sanchez—and occasionally others—so desperately lack.
For Atletico Madrid, his devilish crosses would keep a smile permanently on the face of Radamel Falcao, and at Real Sociedad, he would inject even more pace into an attacking game which has progressed 200 percent in 2013.
The list continues, but the suggestion remains that his only destination in Spain will be Real Madrid.
He turns 24 in the summer, and he's still got a lot to prove, but tactically, he's got all the potential to take La Liga by storm.