Bale reached another level for Spurs last season. While he has always been a physical specimen and an intriguing talent, Bale finally put the pieces together on offense. Transitioning from a winger to a more central role has given Bale the freedom he needs to find the net on a regular basis.
In 20 appearances on the left, Bale recorded eight goals and two assists. But when playing through the middle in a free role, he scored 11 times and notched four assists in just 13 outings, via WhoScored.com.
At just 24 years of age, Bale has tremendous upside—but could he really be worth Tottenham's valuation?
While the price may not accurately reflect his talent on the pitch, it does indicate the desperation of Tottenham to keep their star man, and the added value that Real Madrid feel he could bring to their side.
Madrid appear to be on the brink of greatness, but need that one extra piece to push them over the edge. After losing the La Liga title to Barcelona early in the campaign and crashing out in the semifinals of the Champions League yet again, it appears that Madrid's current squad is unable to meet their lofty goals.
While Mourinho made great progress during his time in Madrid, he lost the plot this past campaign and seemed to crack under pressure at the Bernabeu. The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti ushers in a new era for Los Blancos.
Along with Ancelotti come fresh faces and exciting talent. Adding Isco, Dani Carvajal, and Asier Illarramendi indicates a tremendous step toward developing a young Spanish core for the future. While all three have ample time to develop, they should challenge for spots this season.
Real Madrid's activity in this transfer market has been purposeful. While the club has been known to pry proven stars from around the globe, until now their new players have been rising stars.
Not so with Gareth Bale.
Bale is an established talent. His complete game offers any club an immediate impact. Though the new youngsters plan for the future, Bale would come into the side ready to tip the balance.
Bale is a game-changer. The winger's 21 league goals for Tottenham represent an enhanced ability to get forward. Much like Ronaldo, Bale's years on the left have provided room to grow as a player. Always the fastest on the pitch, Bale is able to burn right-backs with ease. Just ask Maicon.
But adding goal-scoring to his repertoire—much like Ronaldo did in 2006-07 indicates that the best is yet to come.
Every time the Welshman's left boot struck the ball the crowd held its breath. He was capable of scoring from anywhere on the pitch in the final months of the season.
That is precisely why Tottenham have every right to request the €120 million sum for his services. It isn't just the player Madrid would be receiving, it is the gaping hole he would leave at White Hart Lane.
Bale single-handedly kept Spurs in the hunt for Champions League football. That phrase is thrown around often, but Bale's five goals and two assists in Tottenham's final seven Premier League games speaks volumes.
Yet, despite his absurd run of form, Tottenham failed to reach the top-four. Again.
Their talisman, their hero, could only do so much. After hanging around the top-four most of the season, Tottenham choked yet again, gifting their London rivals a slot on the Europe's biggest stage.
But with a valuation in the nine figures, Tottenham must feel that Bale is their only chance to reach their goals. He is the pride of the club, and has three years left on his contract. Spurs have all the leverage in these negotiations, and will fight for every penny they can get.
Madrid are nearly as desperate. Though La Decima is a tougher goal than simply reaching the Champions League, Bale is the type of player they need to feel confident heading into matchups against Bayern Munich and Barcelona. A Ronaldo-Bale tandem would be a nightmare for defenders.
Madrid's pockets are deeper than we could have imagined. After shelling out huge sums for their Spanish youth, they are prepared to break the bank yet again for Bale. While the price is no doubt inflated, Bale represents everything that Los Blancos need.
Bale provides another prolific outlet to distract from Ronaldo. He provides versatility to adapt to whatever role they want. But most of all, Bale reflects a direct replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo, should he fail to extend his contract.
This, more than anything else, is why Bale might be worth €120 million.