Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has praised the rapid development of Welsh winger Gareth Bale in the build-up to Spurs’ Champions League match with AC Milan at the San Siro.
Much has been made of Bale's absence with a back problem for the round of 16 clash, with the wide-man having bagged a hat-trick against Inter Milan earlier this season.
However, Redknapp opted to lavish praise on his out-of-action midfielder rather than lament his loss, highlighting Bale's resilience to overcome hurdles that stunted his Spurs career early on.
“In the beginning he had played 25/26 times and had never been on the winning team and you began to wonder would he ever play on a winning team," he said.
Redknapp continued to elaborate on the winger’s rise to prominence and surprise at the sudden acceleration of his development into a top winger.
“His improvement is unbelievable really. Confidence has made a huge difference to him. Suddenly something changed and his game took off and went to another level. He is just an amazing player.”
Bale’s rapid rise has led to inevitable speculation about his future with the White Hart Lane club. Redknapp stressed that Tottenham’s desire should be to keep hold of Bale to consolidate their position in the Champions League.
But if the player wants to leave, Spurs cannot stand in his way.
“Tottenham as a top four club in the Champions League shouldn’t be looking to sell our best four players, but it’s not easy to hang on to your best players. If they want to go they will. It’s hard to say you’re not going."
Harry Redknapp was speaking to Yahoo! Visit The Dugout at www.yahoo.co.uk/sport
By Killian Woods