Tony Cascarino believes Gareth Bale is displaying no type of desire to return to the top echelons of world football having failed to make an impact during his loan spell at Tottenham to date.
Big things were expected from Bale when he rejoined the north London side from Real Madrid in the summer, but he has struggled for fitness and form.
The Wales international has been restricted to just 19 outings across all competitions for Spurs so far this season, scoring just once in the Premier League.
And Cascarino has likened Bale’s current situation to that of what Angel Di Maria and Alexis Sanchez experienced at Manchester United – both of whom have reignited their careers at Paris Saint-Germain and Inter Milan respectively.
Speaking on Weekend Sports Breakfast, the former Chelsea striker said: “Why did a manager in Zidane go: I don’t need you and I don’t want you. Bad influence. Why did he nearly go to China?
“What where all these things happening to Bale and why? Why were his performances for Wales terrible in recent games?
“I watched two before Christmas and he was awful. That wasn’t Bale of the Euro’s. He hasn’t been a player since the 2018/19 season.
“He scored 16 goals I believe for club and country. For the best part of two years he’s been nowhere close to that.
“And if he hasn’t got the hunger and desire in his belly to play football and play at the highest level, then Bale is going to fall short like any great player.
“I saw [Angel] Di Maria do that at Man United and come back for PSG. I’ve seen Alexis Sanchez do it [at Man United]. I’ve seen players do it who were far better than I ever was.”
Michael Dawson, however, has leapt to his former Spurs teammate’s defence and called on manager Jose Mourinho to give him a more significant role in his side.
“I’ve been so disappointed since he’s come in. We all talked about the front three Spurs would have with Heung-min Son, Harry Kane and Gareth slotting in,” Dawson told talkSPORT Breakfast.
“He came with an injury and he hasn’t hit the ground running. In his defence he hasn’t had many minutes.
“When he has he hasn’t performed, but he needs time. He needs game time. He was out for a few weeks when he came back and then he’s chucked into cup games and he does okay. But you need a run of games.
“Ray [Parlour] and Alan [Brazil, you’ve played this game for long enough… one game here and there, ten minutes here and then – it doesn’t give you much of an opportunity.
“Yes, he played against Brighton and he wasn’t great, but give him another chance and stick with him for three or four games.”