Harry Redknapp believes that Gareth Bale is potentially the best left-sided player around.
The Welsh international has impressed at both left-back and left midfield since his return to the Spurs side in January, with Redknapp comparing Bale to Glen Johnson.
Redknapp told the Ham & High: “Gareth is similar to Glen Johnson. They have that similar quality and ability to get forward and run all day,”Â
“They both have skill. Glen comes forward, he can beat full-backs and get crosses in. He comes inside, gets shots in, has one-twos. His all-around game has come on and improved since going to Portsmouth. Gareth is the same. He has everything, absolutely everything.
“He’s now showing that ability I saw when he was a kid at Southampton. There can’t be a better left-sided player anywhere. If he were English he’d be going to the World Cup now, that’s for sure.
“He can play left-back or wide left in midfield, he’s six foot and has great a physique. He can run all day, has an unbelievable left foot, has skill and his heading is top-class – he can do everything.
“Cliff Jones, the Double-winner, said the other night that Bale will be the first Welsh player to get 100 caps. I didn’t realise no-one had.”
“He has just developed himself. He has got stronger, he’s grown up and is tougher,”Â added Redknapp. “He’s mentally tougher. I always felt he would get a little knock and limp off in training. He doesn’t do that any more. Maybe it’s because I said to the physio ‘when he gets injured leave him on the floor. Don’t keep running over to him’.
“The defensive part of his game has improved. He realised he had to improve that side of his game. We talked to him about it and worked with him in training. Now defensively he’s not vulnerable.
“He’s a different boy altogether. He’s aggressive, strong and has everything to be a great player. And he’s a smashing lad, there couldn’t be a nicer boy.”
Have something to tell us about this article?