Gareth Bale has enjoyed immense personal success since joining Tottenham.
The Welshman was brought in for a relatively small fee of £7million, a world away from his current value. In the 2010-11 he took the UEFA Champion's League by storm, most notably reaching the back of the net three times and supplying two assists all in the space of two games against Inter Milan.
Maicon was famously destroyed at the San Siro by the 21-year-old Gareth Bale, a night that has since gone down in Tottenham folklore.
Nearly three years on and Gareth Bale is still injecting fear into his opponents. The speed merchant scored a tremendous 21 goals in the Premier League last season, winning the PFA Player of The Year award in the process. Due to his world class ability and unrivalled physicality Bale is now attracting interest from Real Madrid.
Rumours have been circulating that Real Madrid are ready to pounce and get their man. The sale of Gareth Bale seems inevitable, but who can replace him?
Givanildo De Souza (Hulk)-Probable transfer fee:£28million
Hulk, a player who is known for his brute strength and goalscoring ability and would be a handful for any Premier League defender. Tottenham boss Andre Villas-Boas previously worked with the Brazilian during his time at Porto, where the pair enjoyed substantial success. Andre Villas-Boas knows how to get the best out of the winger, something that current Zenit manager Luciano Spalletti has been unable to do.
Hulk has only scored 7 goals for Zenit, which definitely doesn't justify the €40million price tag which the Russian side paid for him.
Hulk would effectively fit into Andre Villas Boas' new 4-3-3 system alongside new signings, Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli. Potentially, he could replicate Bale's form and, with the help of others, fire Tottenham into the UEFA Champion's League. If Tottenham were to try and steal the Brazilian powerhouse, Zenit would try to recapture most of the cataclysmic fee that they paid for him.
Erik Lamela- Probable transfer fee:£25million
Another player who could replace Gareth Bale is the Argentine starlet, Erik Lamela. Lamela fundamentally plays as a right sided midfielder who loves cutting in for a goalscoring opportunity.
Although not necessarily a winger, he could make a smooth transition to support Andre Villas Boas' favoured formation, the 4-3-3. The Argentine superstar has recently shot to fame after having an excellent season in the Serie A. Earning many plaudits, Lamela is now recognised as one of the world's most talented players.
Statistics show that Lamela has a better dribbling success rate than that of both Luis Suarez and Marco Reus, verifying that he is good with the ball at his feet. Being only 21-years of age, he is easily one of the best youngsters around and will surely only get better. Roma have benefited from the recent sale of Marquinhos, receiving an astronomic fee of £27million. This could infuse Roma's reluctance to sell and cause problems for Tottenham director, Franco Baldini.
Stephan El Shaarawy- Probable transfer fee £28million
AC Milan's main asset, Stephan El Shaarawy could be the next player to sign for Tottenham, if Gareth Bale were to move on of course. The promising Italian took on a massive role at Milan last season and handled the pressure caused by Ibrahimovic's departure excellently. The Winger scored 16 goals in the Serie A for the Rossoneri last season, highlighting his impressive attacking capabilities.
El Shaarawy has earned comparisons to the likes of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. The Half Egyptian phenomenon essentially plays as a left winger, however he is right footed so like Erik Lamela likes to cut in and have a shot at goal.
Linking up with Roberto Soldado and Nacer Chadli, El Shaarawy could set the world alight and replicate Gareth Bale's growth to becoming one of the best players around. AC Milan are infamously becoming something of a selling club with Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Pato having all been sold in recent transfer windows. If Tottenham were to buy El Shaarawy he would cost quite a large amount, breaking Tottenham current transfer record.
These three players could efficiently slot into the Tottenham side and dilute the effect of Bale's departure, however I'm unsure that any of these players would be as much of a hit as Bale has been this season.
If Bale is to leave, the Premier League's loss will be the Liga BBVA's gain. What I do know is that Gareth Bale is worth as much as Messi and Ronaldo are to their respective clubs which is a telling factor in the amount of money that Real Madrid are rumoured to be willing to pay for the world class Welsh sensation.
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