'Andros Townsend can be the new Gareth Bale for Tottenham,' says Jan Vertonghen

Defender hails his team-mates performances this season

Jan Vertonghen has suggested that his Tottenham team-mate Andros Townsend can have the same impact at the club as Gareth Bale, and go on reach the same level as the Welsh winger, who joined Real Madrid for a world-record £86m over the summer.

Townsend has not been out of the headlines over the last fortnight, playing terrifically in his first two England matches, including scoring on his debut against Montenegro, and then scoring for Spurs in their 2-0 win at Aston Villa on Sunday, showing that Roy Hodgson’s  ‘space monkey’ joke had not affected him.

“Andros can be our new Gareth Bale,” the Belgium defender told the Evening Standard. “He has so much pace, technique and skill and he can do it with both feet. I hope he can keep going like this and he can be our best player. Maybe he can become as good as Bale. Maybe one day, if he keeps working — and he will.

“He is young and I think in two or three years he can go to that level.”

Townsend has started Spurs’ last seven Premier League matches after Aaron Lennon suffered an injury in the first game of the season which allowed Townsend to come into the side, but Vertonghen says he knew last season that the 22-year-old would flourish in the top flight.

“I remember playing against him in training last year,” he added. “Sometimes I played left-back so I marked him when he played on the right wing and I never liked playing against him.

“I was asking myself, ‘Why is he not playing, with his talent?’ but of course he had Aaron Lennon ahead of him.

“I’m so glad for him, that he’s showing what he can do now, because he works very hard and he’s always doing his extra training.

“He does shooting exercises after training, he’s always working and he’s 100 per cent professional. I like him as a person as well so I’m very happy he’s doing this well.”

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn