Gareth Bale – The powerful left-sided Welsh international youngster


The powerful left-sided Welsh international youngster was awarded the Club’s Young Player of the Year award after an incredible second half of the 2009-10 campaign.

Playing as either a left-back or further up the flank, Gareth was instrumental in securing our fourth place Premier League finish.

Despite being out of the side and having never started a Premier League game on the winning team until January, 2010, his transformation was incredible.

An injury to regular left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto at the turn of the year gave him his chance for a run of games, and he never looked back, earning Man of the Match awards and rave reviews throughout the remainder of the campaign.

Gareth made 34 appearances in total that season, scoring three Premier League goals which included valuable winners in our back-to-back North London derby victories over Arsenal and Chelsea in April, 2010.

By the end of that season, he had been awarded with a new contract that will keep the precocious talent at the Lane until 2014.  

Three years previously, Gareth had made a promising start to his Spurs career as a teenager, having signed from Southampton in May, 2007.  

He made his First Team debut at Old Trafford against Manchester United in August, 2007, following initial injury problems following his arrival from St Mary’s.

The next two games saw the youngster announce himself on the biggest stage, scoring his first Spurs goal in an away fixture with Fulham before hitting the opener in his first ever North London derby against Arsenal at White Hart Lane, a game we went on to lose 3-1.

But injury problems over the coming months, including a broken foot picked up in a home game with Birmingham City that December, curtailed his progress and ended his maiden season prematurely.

On returning from injury for the 2008-09 campaign, Gareth found regular football harder to come by due to the resurgance of Assou-Ekotto as the Club’s first-choice left-back until it all turned around for the young man from Cardiff.  

Earlier on in his young career, Gareth made his professional debut for Southampton against Millwall in the Championship towards the end of the 2005-06 campaign.

He went on to be capped by his country at Under-21 level before becoming the youngest ever Wales international when he came off the bench against Trinidad and Tobago in June, 2006.

His first Welsh start came, ironically enough, at White Hart Lane in September 2006 when Brazil provided the opposition and a first international goal quickly followed against Slovakia in a European Championship qualifier – making him the country’s youngest goalscorer.

Gareth made 45 appearances for Southampton, scoring five goals, and helped the club to the Championship play-offs at the end of the 2006-07 season before his switch to the Lane.


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