This is the issue that no Tottenham Hotspur fan wants to get started on. Talking about replacing Gareth Bale means that the Welsh dynamo might well leave after this season. And with Real Madrid first in line with plenty of money to spend, it's not a far-fetched possibility.
Of course, there is no real way to truly replace what Bale has meant to this team over the last few years. From his coming-out party against Internazionale in the Champions League to his ridiculous goalscoring exploits this season, he has been the primary driving force in keeping Spurs in the top-four hunt.
Only a player of the caliber of Bale's main competition for the left wing spot at Real Madrid, Cristiano Ronaldo, could be an immediate replacement at White Hart Lane. But in looking at potential targets, there are players out there who could at least somewhat soften the blow.
What follows is an examination of some of these players, considering options both already in the fold and from abroad. Among those missing the cut:
Clint Dempsey, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Aaron Lennon: The established players at Spurs. Dempsey is approaching 30, so he isn't long-term. Sigurdsson has not yet made the same kind of impact as he did at Swansea. Lennon is the starting right winger and needs a mate on the left.
Heung-Min Son: Hamburg's Korean wonder has emerged as a star in the Bundesliga with 11 goals. Is more of a deep-lying center forward than a winger but could play on the flank. Here is an excellent write-up on how he could fit.