Spurs star Jan Vertonghen believes that Andros Townsend can be the club's "new Gareth Bale".
Welsh winger Bale left White Hart Lane in the summer in a world-record move to Real Madrid that followed an exhausting and protracted transfer saga.
Many feared that his departure would threaten to de-rail the club's recent progress and this was a claim seemingly addressed by Andre Villas-Boas, with the popular Portuguese using the funds from the imminent sale to significantly bolster his squad.
However, while many anticipated that it would be the likes of £30 million man Erik Lamela who would fill the inevitably gaping void, it is 22-year-old Townsend who has been most impressive so far this season.
The electrifying wideman was given his chance by Villas-Boas at the start of the campaign and has managed to hold down a starting berth with a succession of stunning displays.
In addition to his sparkling club form, Townsend also earned an international call-up and went on to play a starring role for England as they secured qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil with consecutive victories over Montenegro and Poland at Wembley.
Following such an incredible rise, Vertonghen - who has been at Spurs since his arrival from Eredivisie champions Ajax in July 2012 - believes his teammate is capable of emulating Bale.
“Andros can be our new Gareth Bale,” he was quoted by the London Evening Standard.
“He has so much pace, technique and skill and he can do it with both feet. I hope he can keep going like this and he can be our best player. Maybe he can become as good as Bale. Maybe one day, if he keeps working — and he will.
“He is young and I think in two or three years he can go to that level.”
Indeed while many have only just begun to notice and acknowledge Townsend's skills, Vertonghen claims that he impressed by the tricky winger's abilities when he first moved to North London prior to the start of last season.
“I remember playing against him in training last year. Sometimes I played left-back so I marked him when he played on the right wing and I never liked playing against him.
“I was asking myself, ‘Why is he not playing, with his talent?’ but of course he had Aaron Lennon ahead of him. I’m so glad for him, that he’s showing what he can do now, because he works very hard and he’s always doing his extra training.
“He does shooting exercises after training, he’s always working and he’s 100 per cent professional. I like him as a person as well so I’m very happy he’s doing this well," he added.
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