When you hear the words Tottenham and winger in the same sentence, the first names that spring to mind are naturally Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon.
Both have been a mainstay in the Tottenham line-up for two years now, leaving little room for young players to stake their claim for a place in the first team.
However, with Bale seemingly on his way out, and Lennon struggling for form and fitness, two positions which were seemingly unattainable have become available. Cue Andros Townsend.
The 22-year-old made the most of a rare start for Tottenham in the Europa League last week and delivered a terrific display, scoring a sublime goal to open the scoring whilst assisting two of his teammates as well.
Spurs manager Villas-Boas rewarded Townsend with a start against Swansea City, where again he turned in a scintillating display. It was his aggressive running at Jonjo Shelvey which led to the penalty that ultimately won Tottenham the game.
But where was Townsend last season?
On loan at several different clubs, including Queen’s Park Rangers, where he made a huge impact. In fact, overall, Townsend has been on loan to nine different clubs since signing a professional contract in 2008.
The fact that Townsend has now been called up to the England squad not only shows the advantage of plying your trade in the lower leagues for game time and experience, but also a remarkable amount of determination from the young winger to eventually force his way into the big-time of the Premier League.
So what next? Well, whilst he still has some way to go to being the 'next Bale' there are similar attributes between the two players which will give Spurs fans a sense of optimism for the coming season. Both players possess an alarming amount of pace and, whilst Townsend has yet to score 26 league goals in a season, he does possess a lethal shot, as shown by his stunning finish in the Europa League last week.
So maybe, just maybe, Townsend can be the answer to Bale’s departure. Perhaps Townsend will relish the international stage as well, with a possible debut for England against Moldova in the coming weeks? If he keeps on working at the rate he's done throughout his career, there could be big things around the corner of what has been a long road for Andros Townsend.
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