Ahead of a potential move to Southampton, Jack Beresford delves into the archives to showcase five memorable images from the career of Andros Townsend
Some will have you believe Townsend could be in line for a season on the fringes of the first-team, while other reports suggest he could be used as a makeweight in any deal for Southampton midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin with the Saints thought to be keen on landing the England star.
Then there are those that believe the midfielder has a future with the Lilywhites and will ultimately force his way in Mauricio Pochettino’s team. Whatever the truth may be, it’s fair to say that Townsend has enjoyed plenty of highs in what has seemed like a brief couple of years.
Here are five lasting memories of Townsend, Tottenham and the games that mattered.
Townsend the Loan Star
The 23-year-old winger has benefitted from a string of loan spells during his short career to date, with stints in League One and the Championship allowing Townsend to showcase his ability on the ball and in front of goal.
Townsend has played for nine different teams on loan in total and has enjoyed varying degrees of success with each one. An early highlight came with this memorable solo goal for Leyton Orient against Yeovil Town, which saw Townsend run 70 yards with the ball, going past three opposing players, before side-stepping another and finishing with aplomb.
A later loan spell at Ipswich Town further showcased his abilities, with Townsend making his mark with a fine headed goal for the Tractor Boys against Swansea, while the midfielder also had Millwall fans dreaming of the Premier League after the club came close to reaching the play-offs with Townsend in tow. These wouldn’t be the last of his memorable spells away from Tottenham...
Townsend the Euro Star
While the 2011-12 season saw Townsend fail to make a single Premier League appearance for Spurs, he nevertheless benefitted from an extended run in the team for the midweek Europa League fixtures.
Though Tottenham were competitive throughout the competition, manager Harry Redknapp was still keen to give youngsters like Townsend a chance to show what they could do and the winger duly delivered in a group fixture against Irish minnows Shamrock Rovers with a goal he no doubt still treasure.
He made a total of six appearances in the competition that season in what proved to be valuable experience for the campaigns to come and for when he would eventually make his full international debut.
Townsend’s fine form in the Europa League continues last season with a virtuoso performance against Dinamo Tbilisi that saw the 23-year-old score one and lay on two more goals for his teammates.
Townsend the Super Star
When rumours surfaced earlier in the summer linking Townsend with a return to Queens Park Rangers on loan, Rs fans were no doubt praying that such talk would become a reality.
After all, it was during his time at Loftus Road that the midfielder truly hit the big time, having arrived at the club on loan alongside Jermaine Jenas in January 2013 with QPR deep in the relegation mire.
Linking up with former Spurs boss Redknapp, Townsend was outstanding from the get-go, earning the Man of the Match award following a goalless draw with Norwich before finding the net with a sensational dipping volley against Sunderland in a 3-1 win for the Londoners.
Another goal followed against Aston Villa, with the winger proving a valuable asset in Rangers' ultimately fruitless relegation battle. Townsend nevertheless departed the club with his reputation well and truly enhanced.
Townsend the England Star
In contention for Tottenham and fresh from impressing for QPR, England manager Roy Hodgson decided it was time to call Townsend up to the England squad for a series of qualifiers that would ultimately decide whether the Three Lions would be making the long trip to Brazil.
An unused substitute for games against Moldova and Ukraine, Townsend finally got his opportunity against qualification rivals Montenegro, starting against the Eastern European outfit, and once again delivered on the big stage with a well-taken individual goal that helped spur England on to a memorable 4-1 win at Wembley.
He retained his place in Hodgson’s starting eleven for the following game, as England picked up a 2-0 win over Poland that sealed their place as group winners.
All of a sudden, Townsend was looking like a nailed on certainty to be on the plane to Brazil, though injury would ultimately rob him of his place in the squad.
Townsend the Premier League Star
Having shown what he could do with QPR the following year, Townsend found himself thrust into the Tottenham first-team at the start of the 2013-14 season, a campaign in which he would ultimately featuring 25 times for the Lilywhites in the Premier League.
His best moment came in a league fixture against Aston Villa, with the winger finding the net for the first time for Tottenham in the Premier League in an important 2-0 win.
Coming just days after his starring appearance for England against Montenegro at Wembley, things couldn’t get much better for the youngster, and they ultimately didn't with Spurs’ notable slump in form coupled with an injury late in the campaign curtailing his impact since.
Will Townsend rediscover the form that made him such an exciting young prospect for Tottenham? Could he benefit from another loan move? Or is his time at White Hart Lane up? The coming days will reveal all.