Ledley King reveals what it was like seeing Gareth Bale’s rise from the inside

Spurs legend Ledley King says nobody at Tottenham Hotspur saw Gareth Bale becoming as good as he did.

A one-club man who spent his entire life at Spurs, King would have seen the rise of many modern-day Spurs heroes like Gareth Bale. The former defender claims that it was the Welshman who hit the ‘highest level’ of all the talents at the club during his time.

Gareth Bale joined Spurs from Southampton in 2007 and was at the club until 2013. He played 236 games for Tottenham, scoring 71 goals and providing 51 assists (Transfermarkt).

It is worth keeping in mind that he played as a left-back in his formative years at the North London club. He also had a second spell at the club on a season-long loan at the very end of his career.

The recently-retired 34-year-old went on to have an even more successful career at Real Madrid, playing 258 times and scoring 106 goals and 67 assists (Transfermarkt). He left the Spanish giants in 2022 as a three-time La Liga winner and five-time Champions League winner.

Spurs seem to have this knack of nurturing unexpected talents and turning them into superstars. Former Spurs star Jermaine Jenas recently admitted in an interview on talkSPORT Drive with Andy Goldstein that he did not expect Harry Kane to have such a successful career when he first saw him during his younger days.

Ledley King
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Ledley King did not see Bale’s rise to stardom coming

Speaking on the On The Judy Podcast, Ledley King revealed how Bale was when he first came to Tottenham and how his eventual rise to fame came as a surprise.

“Gareth was the player who reached the highest level of everyone for me. It’s crazy. Gareth was a quiet kid, and when you look at his career now it’s crazy. When he left Southampton for Tottenham he was a quiet kid. I don’t think anyone expected him to have the career he had.”

“What I did see was that he could be a great left-back. One of the best in the world as a left-back or a wing-back, but somehow, he turned into something different, and he played basically anywhere. He turned into a different animal, it was just crazy.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Without an iota of doubt, Bale in full flight was one of the best players of his generation and he is a Spurs legend in his own right. His time at Real Madrid will be remembered for all the right and wrong reasons.

Now retired from the game, Bale is a player who terrorized defences and we were lucky to have him for close to six seasons. As Ledley King says, not many people saw it coming and that’s what made it even more special than it already was.

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