LONDON - Tottenham Hotspur's Gareth Bale is
the envy of Europe's top clubs after destroying Inter Milan's
defence for the second time in two weeks but manager Harry
Redknapp said on Wednesday he was not for sale at any price.
The Welsh left winger followed up his hat-trick in the 4-3
Champions League defeat at the San Siro with a spellbinding
display on Tuesday night as Tottenham beat the European
champions 3-1 at White Hart Lane to go top of Group A.
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Bale, 21, bamboozled Inter's Brazil right back Maicon with a
buccaneering performance, creating the second and third goals
for Spurs who came of age in Europe's blue riband competition.
Former Barcelona, Real Madrid, Inter and Portugal winger
Luis Figo watched Bale's display in awe and Inter boss Rafael
Benitez suggested he would walk into his team.
Glenn Hoddle, one of Tottenham's greatest ever players, said
Barcelona and Real Madrid would join the clamour for Bale's
signature although Redknapp is adamant Bale is going nowhere.
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"You couldn't buy him for 25 or 30 million pounds that's for sure," Redknapp told Sky Sports News in
an interview on Wednesday. "If he had a value, if we wanted to
sell him, it would be way in excess of that.
"He is an amazing young player. We wouldn't entertain a bid.
The chairman said he is not for sale and that's good enough.
"We are building a team at Tottenham and we are a club
that's going places. The whole thing is going forward and we are
not looking to sell our best players."
Bale was highly-rated when he arrived at Tottenham for 10
million pounds from Southampton in 2007 but lost form and
confidence and even became a jinx for the team which failed to
win in any of his first 24 Premier League appearances.
But Redknapp's arrival worked wonders and now Tottenham can
boast arguably the best left-sided player in Europe.
"It's amazing how he can run and run and run against the
best right back in the world," Redknapp said.
Bale was still leaving Maicon, Lucio and any other Inter
player he found in his way floundering deep into stoppage time
on Tuesday and looked as though he could run all night.
"He was ridiculous tonight," England striker Peter Crouch,
who scored Tottenham's second goal from Bale's fizzing low
cross, told reporters.
"It's a dream for a striker to play with him because you
know that nine times out of 10 he will beat his man and deliver
the ball into the danger area."
Bale's impact, although a little longer in coming, bares
many similarities to that of fellow Welshman Ryan Giggs, who
burst on to the scene as a teenager at Manchester United and
even in his mid 30s can still torment defences.
Like Giggs, Bale has seemingly endless reserves of energy
and covers every blade of grass up and down the left flank. He
also has the same amazing ability to run at pace with the ball
at his feet and deliver telling crosses.
Bale has some great tricks and fancy footwork but, as
demonstrated by Tottenham's third goal, he also adheres to the
notion that simple football can be the most devastating.
With Brazilian World Cup-winner Lucio to beat, rather than
shell-shocked compatriot Maicon, Bale knocked the ball 20 metres
down the line, switched on the after-burners and accelerated
before providing Roman Pavlyuchenko with a tap-in.
Where he has a slight edge on Giggs is in his physique. Bale
is built like a rugby fullback and when shoulder to shoulder
with a defender is devilishly difficult to knock off the ball.
Pity for England then, that Welshman Bale is unlikely to
grace the World Cup for his country. Based on his performances
over the last nine months, he would be an automatic selection
for Fabio Capello, playing in front of left back Ashley Cole.
Luckily for Redknapp, whose own credentials as England
manager Capello's eventual replacement are improving rapidly, he
has the luxury of selecting Bale every week.
Redknapp still thinks he is a natural left back but with
Cameroon international Benoit Assou-Ekotto providing great
cover, Bale's attacking instincts have been used to the maximum.
"He was up against a right-back who, before these two games,
no-one could give him a chasing," Redknapp said of Bale's
dominance over Maicon.
"It's like a boxer. You might be knocking everyone out but
suddenly you come up against a champion and it's whether or not
you can do it against the top people.
"Gareth's done it again and in both games, no disrespect to
the right-back, he's given him the most torrid time you could
wish to see. It was amazing to do that to such a top player."
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