Gareth Bale's development from a promising left-back into one of the world's best left-wingers has been nothing short of explosive. 

Many would suggest he has single-handedly fuelled Tottenham's Champions League push - and with 16 league goals to his name already this season, not many would argue against it.

Tottenham however must face the reality that a player of Bale's ability is unlikely to stay at the club. Despite being just 23-years-old, the Southampton academy product must sense the chance to make a big money move to a club challenging for major honours. 

No-one in the Tottenham squad has quite been able to fit into Bale's original number 11 role, as he has been played in a free role in the last few months. 

With suitors lining up - notably Spanish giants Real Madrid - Spurs will have to bring in another left winger. But who could fit into the Welshman's considerably large shoes?

The best case scenario would be Dortmund's young Marco Reus. Despite him having a fantastic season at the German side, they have been a long way off the pace set by a rampant Bayern Munich.

The 23-year-old has a vast attacking repertoire - he is not only a significant goal-threat but a better creative player than the man he would replace. He is also one of the few players in Bale's position who can match his incredible pace.


Funds aren't going to be a problem for Spurs, however Reus would be likely to cost upwards of £25million. Dortmund would be under no pressure to sell, with the club in a healthy financial position and Reus having a number of years left on his contract. This considered, Reus would be a considerable coup for the north London club. 

Another, perhaps more realistic target, would be Sociedad wide man Antoine Griezmann. Despite his notoriety for earning himself a year's national team ban - due to breaking a team curfew - the Frenchman has been gaining plaudits in La Liga. A player earmarked for success, Griezmann gives a new dimension to a team with a solid work rate and defensive contribution, in addition to his attacking prowess.

If Villas-Boas could unlock the 22-year-old's clear potential - as showcased with a devastating performance against Valladolid two weeks ago - then Spurs could find themselves with a relatively cheap successor to Bale. 

 

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