Gareth Bale

Ones To Watch: Spurs

by Ashley Houghton

Bale star act for Villas-Boas' men.

Gareth Bale

Voted the best player in British football right now, Gareth Bale is the main man behind Tottenham Hotspur’s push for a place in the UEFA Champions League this season.

Bale, 23, has set the Barclays Premier League alight with a host of man-of-the match performances which have seen him win widespread recognition.

The Welsh international was voted PFA Players’ Player of the Year, PFA Young Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year as well as being voted into the PFA Team of the Year in 2012-13.

Bale, who has been capped 41 times by Wales, has scored 54 goals in 202 games for Spurs - however, it’s during this campaign he has been most prolific – scoring 25 goals in 43 games.

Cardiff-born Bale started his career with Southampton, where he progressed through the youth ranks, and made 45 appearances, scoring five goals before Spurs signed him in 2007.

Jan Vertonghen

Belgian defender Jan Vertonghen joined Spurs at the start of the 2012-13 season after being linked to a host of Barclays Premier League clubs.

The 26-year-old joined the North London club from Ajax where he had progressed through the youth ranks after a move to Amsterdam from Germinal Beerschot as a 16-year-old.

Having progressed through the famed academy at Ajax, Vertonghen went on to play 220 times under the likes of Marco van Basten, Martin Jol and Frank de Boer – winning the Dutch Eredivisie in 2010-11 and 2011-12.

Since making his international debut in 2007, Vertonghen has been capped by Belgium on 47 occasions – scoring four times.

In his first season at White Hart Lane he has made 48 appearances and scored six goals whilst also being named in the PFA Team of the Year for a string of fine performances, including an exceptional display as Andre Villas-Boas’ side won 3-2 at Old Trafford back in September.

Emmanuel Adebayor

Togolese striker Emmanuel Adebayor has been one of the more prominent players in the modern Barclays Premier League era after starring for a host of top-flight clubs.

The 29-year-old came to British football from Monaco after progressing through the youth ranks with FC Metz.

Arsenal was the striker’s first club; he scored 62 goals in 142 appearances at the Emirates Stadium in a three-year spell with the Gunners.

In July 2009, the 6’3” frontman joined Manchester City for a fee believed to be in the region of £25m.

And despite scoring on his City debut, he was limited to just 45 appearances before being loaned out to Spanish giants Real Madrid.

Adebayor spent the second half of the 2010-11 season in La Liga and scored eight goals in 22 appearances before returning to Manchester.

The following campaign Spurs took Adebayor on a season-long loan deal and he didn’t disappoint, scoring 18 goals in 31 matches.

That form prompted Spurs to make the deal permanent this campaign and he notched his 160th club career goal in last weekend’s 2-1 victory over Stoke City.