Bale backs Walker to push on next season

Kyle Walker's summer may be quieter than he had planned having been ruled out of Euro 2012 action for England with a foot injury, but club team-mate Gareth Bale has backed Spurs’ Young Player of the Year to return next season better than ever.

After an impressive season which saw Walker not only become a first-team regular for Tottenham Hotspur but also gain his first national cap, Spurs fans and players alike will hope he can develop his game further.

Bale believes that Walker's progression is down to his increased game-time, and hopes that the 22-year-old’s form can continue into the 2012/13 campaign as Tottenham aim for a Champions League spot once more.

"He needed a run in the team, he got that and he’s showed exactly what he can do this season," Bale told the club's official website.

"He’s played really well. He’s set himself a benchmark this season and hopefully he can maintain it."

Walker's marauding runs down the right flank have become something for both opposition players and managers to be wary of, which the Welshman recognises.

"Players know all about him now, they will be looking to stop those forward runs and he has to find a way around – I’m sure he will."

By Simon Harrison