December 11 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Monday, October 21, 2013
Jan Vertonghen believes that Andros Townsend can become the “new Gareth Bale” at Tottenham.
Townsend has enjoyed a flying start to the campaign, securing a place in Andre Villas-Boas’ Spurs side before starring in England’s decisive World Cup qualifiers against Montenegro and Poland at Wembley.
Having become a new national hero, the 22-year-old returned to club action yesterday as the Lilywhites travelled to Aston Villa – and he shone again, scoring the opening goal and threatening with shots and crosses on a host of other occasions.
The Tottenham fans serenaded the winger with a chorus of “Andros Townsend, he was born to play to Spurs” – a song previously reserved for Bale.
Vertonghen can also see strong similarities between Townsend and Bale, who became the world’s most expensive player when he moved from Tottenham to Real Madrid in the summer – and the Belgian believes Spurs’ young star could become just as good as the £85million man.
“I think Andros can be our new Gareth Bale,” said Vertonghen. “He has so much pace and technique and skills, and he can do it with both feet. I hope he can keep going like this and he can even be our best player.
“Can he reach the same level as Bale? Maybe one day, if he keeps working - and he will. He’s young. In two or three years I think he can go to that level, yes.
“I remember playing against him in training last year. Sometimes I played left-back so I played against him when he was on the right wing in training, and I never liked playing against him.
“I was asking myself ‘why is he not playing, with his talent?’. Of course he had Aaron Lennon ahead of him.
“I’m so glad for him that he’s doing his thing now, because he works very hard. He’s always doing his extra practise, like shooting exercises after training. He’s 100 per cent professional and I like him as a person as well so I’m very happy he’s doing this well.”
Townsend’s latest goal – his third in 11 games, including his strike for England against Montenegro – helped Tottenham to a 2-0 victory at Villa Park yesterday.
Roberto Soldado was also on target, netting for the first time in six games as the Lilywhites climbed to fifth place in the table – three points behind the league leaders Arsenal.
That victory banished the memory of Spurs’ 3-0 home defeat against West Ham in their previous outing – and it matched the wins that Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton had posted in the Premier League the previous day.
“It’s even tighter than last year,” said Vertonghen. “You have to win these games and that’s why it’s a shame we lost against West Ham at home. These games are so important, to keep us up in the top three or four.
“I think the top teams won’t drop too many points against lower teams. They’ll drop points against each other like we did, so we have to win the other games.
“I think there are six favourites [for the title]. Probably before the beginning of the season everybody would have said Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and maybe us – and now we see Arsenal and Liverpool are top of the league, so you have to take them as favourites as well.
“I think we have six favourites, and Everton are doing very well. I don’t want to think about it, it will be a very tough season.”
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