Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend has had a massive week. He scored his first international goal in his second appearance for England in their 4-1 victory over Montenegro and then scored again for his club away to Aston Villa over the weekend, keeping Spurs' top-of-the-table hopes alive.
A product of the Spurs academy, Townsend has spent most of his professional career on loan. He's been all over England, from League One Yeovil Town to Queens Park Rangers during their brief time in the Premier League last season.
While he hasn't been much of a goal-scorer to date, netting just 12 goals in club play since 2009, his form in his last two matches (for England against Montenegro and for Spurs against Aston Villa) has many people excited about his future.
A pacey, creative midfielder, Townsend is fantastic with the ball at his feet and excels at the long shot. While he has not been tapped to take set pieces with the kind of regularity that Bale was in his time at White Hart Lane, the comparisons between the two young Britons are many.
Both left-footed right wingers; both with a desire and ability to take—and score—the long shot; both with pace and dribbling abilities that leave defenders in the dust and out of their shoes. While the comparison may not be fair to Townsend (after all, Bale was just sold for a world-record—or, depending on who you ask, near-world-record—fee), it's something he'll have to deal with in the new post-Bale reality at Tottenham.
While it's likely that there is no "next Gareth Bale" in some senses—after all, every player is his own man—Townsend is shaping up to be the next man as important to Spurs as Bale was during his tenure there.
Tottenham Hotspur spent the money earned in Bale's sale to Real Madrid on seven very good players over the summer, a few of which (especially Christian Eriksen and Erik Lamela) look like real heirs to Bale's throne, as creative attacking midfielders with a lot to offer. But in Townsend, Tottenham had the "next Bale" all along.
He's proving it as we speak, as the winger steps up for both club and country. If there is a "next Gareth Bale" at Tottenham Hotpsur—or anywhere, for that matter—then yes, pacey, creative, goal-scoring Andros Townsend is that man.
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