Tottenham’s Michael Dawson and Jermain Defoe have backed Gareth Bale to stay at the club despite interest from Real Madrid.
Bale has been heavily linked with a move to Madrid throughout the off-season but was used to unveil Tottenham’s new kit alongside Dawson, Defoe and goalkeeper Brad Friedel on Monday, increasing belief among the London club’s fans that the Welsh attacker will stay in England.
Defoe believes Bale will be critical to Tottenham’s bid to break into the top-four of the English Premier League in the upcoming season.
“It’s important that he stays,” Defoe said.
“This year, we want a great season and we want to get into the Champions League and to do that you’ve got to keep your best players.
“What Gareth did here last year was unbelievable when you look at the amount of goals he scored.
“At times he was playing out of position, up top or off the forward and to show the composure he did in certain games, when he was one-on-one with the ‘keeper he produced some unbelievable finishes.
“He’s a special player (and) you want to keep your top players.”
Dawson added he is desperate for Tottenham to keep Bale in the Premier League.
“Last year, some of the goals he scored to help win us football matches were unbelievable,” Dawson said.
While Bale did not make any reference to his potential move to Madrid, he added the overriding goal of everyone at Tottenham is to qualify for the UEFA Champions League again.
“That’s the plan, I think everybody at the club wants us to finish in the top four, I think the club wants to be in the top four and we need to go one better this season and finish in the top four,” Bale said.
Bale added he still believes he has room to improve despite his stunning campaign last season where he scored 26 goals in 44 games for Tottenham.
“I’m hoping to improve from last season,” the 23-year-old Welshman said.
“Every season I want to keep improving, keep becoming a better player, I’m more experienced now.
“For me I need to keep working hard on the training pitch and on game days and hopefully progress as a player again to become even better.”