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Spurs best XI in depth: Gareth Bale

With the defensive aspect of this Spurs side covered, now is the time to analyse the attacking quintet that makes up To the Lane and Back’s team and who better to start with first than last seasons PFA Player of the Year, Gareth Bale.

The Welshman has progressed tremendously under Harry Redknapp’s stewardship but it has to be said he was lucky to get his chance to shine at all. Having agreed to sell the Welshman to Birmingham for around £5m, an injury to first choice left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto meant Redknapp was forced to choose Bale while the Cameroon international was sidelined almost two-years ago.

What followed were four exceptional displays from the 22-year-old, including a man of the match performance away at Leeds United in an FA Cup replay. It had been a career changing month for Bale, who often found himself on the peripherals of the first-team since his move to White Hart Lane in 2007, despite the hype surrounding the then 17-year-old.

Injuries had a detrimental effect on the youngsters progression following a succession of ankle and knee problems while the 24 league games without being part of a winning team did little to improve his dwindling confidence. However, after coming on as a sub in the closing stages of the 5-0 win over Burnley 2009 Bale started his first league game, ending in a win during his prolonged spell in the first team at the beginning of 2010.

The Welshman has never looked back from the chance he was given in 2010 and has firmly established himself as a starter for Spurs on the left-wing. Combining his pace, strength and aerial ability, Bale has becoming one of the most feared wingers in the Premiership and it’s hardly surprising that two players that have attempted to ‘kick him out of the game’, Martin Skrtel and Steve Gohouri, have both been given their marching orders as a result.

The undoubted highlight of his career thus far has got to be his performance against Inter Milan in the Champions League double header last season. At the San Siro, with Spurs trailing 4-0, Bale took it upon himself to break through the Italians defence, scoring a hat-trick in the process, leaving with the match ball and allowing Spurs to head back to London with a respectable 4-3 defeat.

This was followed by the ‘£40m Bale making’ return fixture at White Hart Lane where the former Southampton trainee put the Inter defence to the sword in the 3-1 win over the former European champions. Cries of ‘taxi for Maicon’ echoed around North London as Bale gave the Brazilian international the run-round down the left-flank.

His 10-out-of-10 displays saw the rest of Europe stand up and take notice of the young lad from Cardiff while the likes of Inter Milan and Real Madrid have all been credited with an interest in the player. Nonetheless, to the delight of Spurs fans, Bale has committed his future to the North London side claiming it would be best for his development to remain with the club. He continues to progress at an exponential rate and it wouldn’t be surprising if opposition defenders dread the day they come up against Spurs, especially is Bale is on form that day.

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