Images of magic moments conjured by Gareth Bale in a Tottenham shirt are not hard to muster.
That hat-trick against Inter Milan. Maicon’s taxi. That last-gasp winner away at West Ham. That free-kick against Arsenal, a team he would score more against than any other Premier League side in his six-year stay in north London.
His last year, in 2012/13, was undoubtedly his best. 31 goals in 51 appearances for club and country were rewarded with the PFA Player and Young Player of the Year awards, as well as the FWA equivalent.
Gareth Bale is on the verge of returning to Tottenham six years after he left the club
Bale became one of the best players in the Premier League during his time in north London
The Welshman scooped both the PFA Player and Young Player of the year awards back in 2013
He became only the second player in history to scoop all three. Then-FWA chairman Andy Dunn said at the time: ‘He is a player who is rising inexorably towards the rarefied levels of world stars such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo’.
Magic and shooting stars rocketing into the same stratosphere as Messi and Ronaldo have been hard to come by in N17 lately.