Gareth Bale is back in familiar surroundings at Tottenham, with the Welshman seeing a loan return to north London bring a nightmare spell at Real Madrid to a close.
The 31-year-old left Spurs in the summer of 2013 as the most expensive player on the planet.
A dream start was made to life at Santiago Bernabeu, with a useful habit picked up of scoring in major finals.
Bale’s blistering pace and keen eye for goal endeared him to the Madridistas, with domestic and continental successes savoured in Spain.
He has been one of most successful British imports of all time, with two La Liga titles, four Champions League crowns and three Club World Cups collected with Real.
The Wales international has also passed a century of goals for the Blancos, hitting 105 in total, but found favour in short supply under Zinedine Zidane.
Just 20 appearances were taken in during the 2019-20 campaign, as transfer speculation raged and questions were asked of his commitment to Real – amid accusations of playing too much golf.
Bale is, however, now back in the Premier League and ready to rekindle a lost spark – with Spurs handing him their No.9 shirt.
Jose Mourinho, who once tried to secure his signature when in charge of Madrid, has won the race for a player proven at the very highest level and will be hoping to see him make an immediate impact.
Bale believes he is ready to do that, once back to full match fitness, and has told Tottenham’s in-house TV station:
It’s nice to be back. It’s such a special club to me, it’s where I made my name. Amazing fans and it’s incredible to be back. Hopefully now I can get some match fitness and get underway and hopefully win trophies.I always thought when I did leave that one day I would love to come back and the opportunity has now arisen and I feel like it’s a good fit. I feel it’s a good time for me, I’m hungry, I’m motivated, I want to do well for the team and I can’t wait to get started.
I think by going to Madrid and winning trophies and going far with the national team, I feel like I have that winning mentality – how to win trophies.
You don’t realise until you are in those situations, in finals, about how to deal with the situation, the nerves, the pressure, and that all goes with experience.
Hopefully I can bring that to the dressing room – a bit more to belief to everybody that we can win a trophy. I want to bring that mentality here back to Tottenham.
Since I left the club has just been growing, the stadium is incredible, the training ground is even better since I was here last. It’s an exciting time for everybody here.
I want to contribute to that again and get us to the next level, which is winning trophies.
Spurs are looking for inspiration from somewhere, having missed out on a top four finish and major silverware last season, and have sought to offer much needed support to talismanic striker Harry Kane.
During his previous stint at White Hart Lane, Bale hit 55 goals in 203 appearances – collecting two PFA Player of the Year awards in the process and putting himself in a position where Real were so desperate to snap him up.
That relationship eventually turned sour, but he will be embraced as a returning hero by Tottenham supporters who have suddenly seen their summer transfer window burst into life.