Mousa Dembele believes his former Tottenham team-mate Gareth Bale will find things “easy” in China and hopes the Real Madrid player makes the move.
As his relationship with manager Zinedine Zidane is at an all-time low, Bale is close to ending his six-year Los Blancos career for an alleged move to China this summer.
Spanish paper Marca claimed this week that the 30-year-old is close to sealing a lucrative move to Jiangsu Suning. Apparently, the Chinese Super League club have tabled a three-year offer of €22m per season after tax.
Despite some late interest from Spurs, Bale’s set on China with only some minor details delaying the transfer.
Real, however, have reintroduced the Wales star into their pre-season programme. He even scored against Arsenal last Wednesday. It’s understood, though, Zidane is still very keen on seeing the back of him.
And Dembele, who left Spurs for Chinese side Guangzhou R&F in January, backed the four-time Champions League winner to flourish in East Asia.
“I know him. He is a very good guy. I think he will do very well here. It is a league where he will fit in,” Dembele told BBC.
“In China, they really want players who can create something from nothing.
“If you are a stable player who just goes sideways it isn’t really what they want because you can only have three [overseas players] on the pitch.
“Gareth is a player who can beat three people and shoot. For him, it will be easy.”
But Dembele, who played alongside Bale at Spurs for one season, warned that life in China is very different to Europe.
“It’s very different, including how the people react to you in daily life,” said the Belgian midfielder.
“I told the players at Tottenham that in the last few years of my career I wanted to go to a different country. When China came I was happy because it’s a big challenge and I wanted to have a culture shock.
“It depends on your personality. I know many people who come here and think it’s rubbish and hate it. But if you’re open-minded, it’s very cool.
“It’s so funny to think the plane ride is ‘only’ about 12 hours but it’s a different world when you get here – and it’s totally different on the pitch.”