Harry Redknapp admits that Benoit Assou-Ekotto will have to work hard to get his place back from Gareth Bale.
The Welsh left-back has been in fine form since coming in for the injured Assou-Ekotto.
Redknapp said: “My other left-back, Benoit (Assou-Ekotto), was playing as well as anyone in the country – but he has got his work cut out to get back in the team with the way this kid (Bale) is playing.
“He really does look a fantastic player. He is looking like the player we thought he was when he was a kid.
“I’ve been so pleased with him. He has stepped in there and done a great job. His heading is good, he is full of energy, he has got a great left foot, he gets forward. He has defended well.
“He has improved. The defensive side of his game is stronger and he has had to do that. He has learnt that. It has taken a bit of time, with stepping into the Premier League.
“It is alright going forward but you have to be able to defend as well and that side of his game has been improved. That is the difference in him now.
“I think the penny dropped in the same way with Glen (Johnson) when I had him at Portsmouth and he became, for me, the best right-back around.
“I think he is fantastic. Gareth is only a kid but, if he keeps progressing, he has got a great future.”
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