In few games, let alone months, are a team's fortunes influenced so heavily by the form of a a full-back. There is no denying that an inform left or right back is perhaps more dispensable than an inform striker, but as with a side like Tottenham, the closer you get to the top, the more emphasis you must place on players to do more than their role traditionally demands.
In Gareth Bale, who is still just twenty years of age, Spurs have a player who has athleticism and height, making him a unique prospect given that most other avenging full-backs are smaller and lighter. I am in know way saying that the Welshman has miraculously turned into a white Douglas Maicon since his injury, but there is no doubt that the former Southampton man is back on the path to becoming one of the best in in his position, which is left-back.
There are some players who have a 'good left foot', but Bale, given his ability to bound forward with ball in tow, take players on and whip in wicked crosses, has a wand of a left foot. Comparing him with Glenn Johnson, who many would say is his mirror, Bale appears the more composed, and at five years younger is arguably already as accomplished.
Rumours that Milan were tracking him while injured may have been scoffed at, but now Juventus's interest in the player who is proving what many already knew, is of no surprise. Italians love a full-back, especially one who has the potential to be as complete as Bale, in all zones of the pitch.
Interestingly, Carlo Anchelotti was the man in charge when Milan were alleged to be keen on Bale. With Ashley Cole's future at the Bridge in doubt, the Italian will most certainly cast his eye across London to one of the league's most talented youngsters. I will leave the 'if only he was english' rant for another day...