Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood says Spurs would be fighting for the Premier League title if they still had Gareth Bale.

Bale left Tottenham for Real Madrid in the summer for a world-record fee of £86 million and scored a sublime solo winner against Barcelona in the Copa Del Rey final last night, his 20th of the season, going some way to justifying his top billing.

Sherwood wasn’t surprised in the least, saying: "Business as usual for Gareth Bale. He scored 21 goals for Tottenham last year and nine assists. He scored eight winners last year. We could do with that this year."

Liverpool managed to keep hold of prized asset Luis Suarez last summer despite intense speculation the Uruguayan was Arsenal bound.

Sherwood indicated he was envious of Liverpool’s resolve, as they are now within four games of their first title in 24 years.

Referring to last night’s El Clásico, he said: “The players of the game last night? Gareth Bale and Luka Modric. That tells you everything.”

Sherwood also believes featuring in the Europa league is another factor for Tottenham’s struggles to compete this year, a shackle Liverpool has been free from.

He said: “I think we've ended up playing 12 more games than Liverpool this season and they're challenging for the Premier League. Is that why, or is because they've got a world-class striker?