Before he really made a name for himself at White Hart Lane and the Bernabeu as a formidable attacking star, Welshman Bale struggled somewhat to impose himself at Spurs.
Considered by some to be somewhat of a jinx to Harry Redknapp's men, Bale was furiously linked with a cut-price switch away from the club - with the likes of Birmingham City and Nottingham Forest linked with his signature.
At one stage, Bale was also supposedly set to be used as a makeweight in an attempt to bring Stewart Downing to North London from Middlesbrough.
What if Bale had left Spurs in such a deal? Would they have ever got into the Champions League?
Would the player himself still have gone on to establish himself as one of the world's best? Would he have still completed his dream move to the Spanish capital for such an extravagant fee?