Sir Alex Ferguson has praised Tottenham’s Gareth Bale following a week in which he was named PFA, Young Player and Football Writers’ player of the year.
There has been increased speculation about the 23 year old’s future, with Bale being linked with moves to Manchester United, Real Madrid and Man City. This speculation will only get worse if Tottenham miss out on the Champions League, but United could have avoided a potential bidding war had they been successful in signing Bale in 2007 from Southampton.
Sir Alex recounted what happened when he approached Southampton:
“We were disappointed in Southampton at the time because we were first there, but they never came back to us.
“It was not the boy who turned us down, it was Southampton, then a few weeks later he signed for Tottenham Hotspur.
“He (Bale) was a left-back when we tried to sign him. It wasn’t until Harry (Redknapp) went to Tottenham that he converted him into a wide left player.
“He reminds me a bit of when we signed Lee Sharpe. He was a six foot, gangly, slim boy, but all of a sudden. he was built like a light heavyweight boxer.
“Bale is the same in the way he has developed in the last two years physically. He has matured very well.”
Bale pipped United’s Robin Van Persie to both awards in a season in which the Welsh player has scored 19 goals in the Premier League, 14 of these coming in the 17 matches since the turn of the year and Sir Alex was full of praise for the Welsh man:
“Maybe Robin is a little bit unlucky in that he hit a quiet spell for a while and didn’t score at the time Bale was bashing them in from all sorts of distances, so he had the edge.
“But in the last few weeks, Robin’s performances have been fantastic when Bale has been quiet. His game has tapered off a bit.
“I don’t think you could dispute it (the vote). Some of the goals Bale has scored this year have been fantastic.”