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Age and relentlessness of Championship could see Cardiff-linked Gareth Bale struggle compared to the Premier League as second tier takes no prisoners, say Jack Wilshere and Jay Bothroyd, who played in both divisions

Gareth Bale has been told he would find it harder in the Championship than at a Premier League club, with the player set to make a decision over his future.

Bale, 32, has been linked with a move to Newcastle, however, it looks like hometown club Cardiff is his most likely destination.

Bale is a transfer target for boyhood club, Cardiff City

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Bale is a transfer target for boyhood club, Cardiff City

According to former Bluebird Jay Bothroyd, who’s played in both leagues, Bale would find it very difficult dropping down a division despite it being a lower standard of football to what he’s used to.

“If he went to Tottenham for example, who have got world-class players, it would be a lot easier in that kind of environment than in the Championship when you’re playing Saturday and Wednesday,” he told Kick Off on talkSPORT.

“It is really difficult to play in the Championship, especially at the back end of your career.”

Meanwhile, former Arsenal and England star Jack Wilshere also shed lights on the trials and tribulations of playing in England’s second tier.

“I’d actually say in my experience the pace of the game is faster in the Championship.

“Most of my time in the Premier League I played for a club that had the ball all the time and then in the Championship it was completely different. 


Wilshere played in the second tier when at Bournemouth in the 2020/21 season

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Wilshere played in the second tier when at Bournemouth in the 2020/21 season

“I only played there briefly but when I first walked in the door [at Bournemouth] I was thinking, ‘we’re going to go up here.’ 

“But we were third and all of a sudden we dropped a few points and I think we were struggling to get into the play-offs and then the play-offs came and we lost in the semis. 

“We were sat there thinking we’d go up and then the next minute we weren’t. Players know that anything can happen at any time.”

Be careful what you wish for, Bale

Be careful what you wish for, Bale

talkSPORT understands Cardiff have held talks with Bale’s representatives as they step up their efforts to sign the out-of-contract Wales captain.

Bale has been linked with other clubs but Bothroyd only sees Bale, who was also recently linked with a bizarre move to Spanish side Getafe, pulling on the blue of Cardiff next season.

“I feel as though Bale is looking and thinking, ‘I have achieved everything I want to in football, I have earned the best part of £500-£600k per week, so I am financially stable,’” Bothroyd added.

“If he does go to Cardiff and the World Cup with Wales, he would be very happy, he will be playing for his hometown club and also representing his country.”

Bothroyd says playing in the Championship will be much harder for Bale

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Bothroyd says playing in the Championship will be much harder for Bale

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