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Still only 23 years old, Bale is entering another critical stage of his career.
It wasn’t so long ago that Redknapp said he still saw the Welshman’s long-term future at left-back. Now, though, Bale is firmly established as a potent attacking weapon.
When Spurs signed Bale, then manager Martin Jol surprised many when he said he might play the former Southampton man as a forward. It was only in the latter stages of that 2009/2010 season that Bale began to earn a reputation as a winger of some renown.
This term, he has also improved his scoring touch and has already matched last season’s total of nine league goals.
In Villas-Boas, he has a manager who can potentially get the best out of him. The Portuguese coach played a key role in the nurturing of a number of talents at Porto, most spectacularly in the case of Radamel Falcao.
Aaron Lennon and Jermain Defoe are also enjoying hugely productive seasons under the direction of their young boss and the latter, in particular, has been full of praise for Villas-Boas.
Bale’s development couldn’t have gone better than it has so far at Spurs. Now he has a manager who can take him to the next level.