After a stunning run of form by Bale, which included winning goals against Arsenal and Chelsea, Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp insisted the club would not sell the former Saints man, despite reports linking him with a move to Manchester United.
A highly rated youngster, Bale joined Spurs as a left-back at 17 years old but he had been on the fringes of the first team due to a succession of injuries - including a broken foot and a knee problem.
However, an injury to Redknapp's preferred left-back Benoit Assou-Ekotto gave Bale the opportunity to impress, and the Spurs boss rewarded his performances by handing him a more advanced attacking role on the left once Assou-Ekotto returned to fitness.
Bale made his Wales debut aged 16 years and 315 days against Trinidad and Tobago in May 2006 and has won 24 caps, scoring two goals.
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