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

Defender hails his team-mates performances this season

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The Independent Football

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.”