Arsenal midfielder Dani Ceballos has defended Tottenham attacker Gareth Bale over his struggles since returning to north London.
The Wales star returned to Spurs in a much-anticipated move over the summer, signing a season-long loan deal.
The move was regarded as a statement of intent from Daniel Levy and Jose Mourinho. Bale was considered the perfect addition to Tottenham’s prolific front pairing of Harry Kane and Son Heung-Min.
However, the 31-year-old has struggled with form and fitness, scoring three goals in 12 appearances so far.
Bale has managed just 623 minutes of football and started just one Premier League game to date.
There has been talk that Spurs could end Bale’s loan early, although that has been denied by Mourinho.
Different Premier League hinders Bale
Ceballos, though, has jumped to his former teammate’s defence, believing that Bale needs time to adapt to a different Premier League to the one he left.
“It’s not easy,” he told EFE, as cited by Hola News (via Sport Witness).
“Gareth’s return has been good for both of us. But when he was here seven years ago, the league was completely different.
“I could give you the case of Thomas (Partey) and that of Fabinho, when he arrived at Liverpool.
“They are players who arrive and they know that it is a very physical league, but when you start playing they realize that it is twice as physical.
“It is very difficult to adapt quickly and I think that could be happening to Gareth.”