Sergio Reguilon has noticed an improvement in Gareth Bale’s mood since the winger returned to Tottenham.
Reguilon moved to Spurs with Bale in a double deal from Real Madrid in the summer transfer window. The Spaniard joined on a permanent deal, while the Welshman returned to north London on loan.
Bale previously enjoyed a successful six-year spell with Tottenham before joining Madrid in what was then a world record transfer. However, he began to fall out of favour towards the end of his time in Spain.
Much was made of Bale’s apparent preference for playing golf rather than for the La Liga club. It prompted an infamous banner presented by Welsh fans, reading: “Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order.”
Therefore, Real were happy to let him go back to Spurs for the season in order to rediscover his love for the game. The financial implications of the deal meant it had to be a loan, rather than permanent move.
Bale has started to make an impression in the Premier League once more. He netted his first goal since returning to Tottenham in their 2-1 win over Brighton at the weekend.
Reguilon, who has also made an impact since his arrival in England, thinks Bale is much happier now he has returned to the Premier League.
“He seems different to me,” Reguilon told Cadena Ser. “The language is everything for him.
“He speaks Spanish well, it’s not bad, a bit like me in English, but communication, the habits, mean he’s happier in England. I have no idea if he’ll return (to Madrid).
“What most surprised me is at Spurs’ training ground there are golf holes. I asked about it and they told me they were put there for him! They’re short holes, maybe 30 metres. I couldn’t believe it!”
In reality, the mini-golf course has been in place at Hotspur Way ever since it was built.
Reguilon and Bale’s moves to Tottenham have seen them link up with a former Real Madrid coach in Jose Mourinho. Despite them all sharing a former club, Mourinho’s path never crossed with theirs in the Madrid first team.
Therefore, it is Reguilon’s first time working under the Portuguese tactician – and he feels Mourinho’s intensity is getting the best out of him.
“Great… I like this kind of demanding, intense coach,” he said. “When we don’t do what he wants he gets angry, like any coach… he’s really close to the players.”
Reguilon adapting to Tottenham
While the move to Tottenham was a return to familiar surroundings for Bale, Reguilon is having to adapt to playing outside his native Spain for the first time in his career.
There are some obvious differences between the two countries, but the left-back is confident he is getting used to his new home on and off the pitch.
“It gets dark at five o’clock!” he said. “It’s a different league and style but I adapt well to new situations.
“I get on great with my team-mates. Son [Heung-min] and [Pierre-Emile] Hojbjerg are good guys.”
Real Madrid retain a buyback clause on Reguilon, who came through the academy ranks at his hometown club.
Asked if there was a chance of returning to the Spanish capital further down the line, he was keeping his options open – but insisted his move to Tottenham was for the best.
“Madrid is my home and where I grew up,” he said. “In the future, you never know but the possibility is there.
“I didn’t speak to the boss (Zidane), it was more with the club. I know what they think of me, I had to take a decision.
“Time will tell. I didn’t ask for explanations.”