Andros Townsend Tipped to Be Tottenham's Greatest Ever Player by Jan Vertonghen

Christopher Atkins@@chris_elasticoContributor IOctober 22, 2013

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 20:  Andros Townsend of Spurs and Gabriel Agbonlahor of Aston Villa battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park on October 20, 2013 in Birmingham, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen believes winger Andros Townsend can be the club's best player ever, following his recent rise to prominence.

Townsend, 22, impressed on his first two outings for England earlier this month and returned to club level with a bang this past weekend with a goalscoring performance against Aston Villa.

Per the Mirror's Mike Walters, teammate Vertonghen predicts Townsend is destined for the top:

I think Andros can be our new Gareth Bale. He has so much pace, tekkers and skill, and he can destroy you with both feet. I just hope he can keep going like this and he can be our best-ever player. I really think that, maybe one day, he could reach that level if he keeps working, which I'm sure he will. He's still young, and in another two or three years I think he can reach that level.

Comparing Townsend to the likes of Bale at this early stage of his first-team career is surely a little premature, even for someone in the privileged position of Vertonghen.

There can be no doubting, though, that the England winger has been excellent in recent weeks. He carried this form into last weekend's trip to Aston Villa, in which he gave Antonio Luna a tough time as the game progressed.

What the Spurs man offers, when contrasted to Lennon, is the ability to beat his man on either side, which in turn often requires more than one player to help defend against his runs.

With pace and dribbling ability, as well as impressive long-range shooting capabilities off either foot, the comparisons with Bale are inevitable. However, Tottenham's new star has a long way to go before he can justify such high praise.

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Vertonghen, though, is convinced and praised his junior colleague for the work ethic that has seen him through nine loan spells before eventually making the Spurs first team.

English football has had its fair share of flash-in-the-pan wide men in recent years who have promised much in their early careers but have seen their progress stall following an initial breakthrough—Shaun Wright-Phillips, David Bentley and Darius Vassell all being obvious examples.

If Townsend is to avoid sharing a similar fate, he must ensure that Vertonghen's belief in his work ethic is not misplaced and prove that he can justify such high praise.

Following Bale to join the ranks of "elite" players is far from easy and takes more than talent alone. Townsend certainly has potential but is a long way from offering the kind of consistency required to be compared to his Welsh predecessor quite yet.

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