Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Tim Sherwood has revealed that chairman Daniel Levy never thought of selling Gareth Bale in the player's early days at the club.
Bale joined Spurs from Southampton in the summer of 2007 for an initial transfer fee of £5 million. The Welshman arrived at White Hart Lane amid much hype and expectations, but he initially struggled to make an impact.
However, the now 25-year-old eventually regained his confidence at Tottenham and went on to establish himself as one of the best players in the Premier League.
Having started out as a left-back, Bale was eventually transformed into a left-winger. It was from this position that the Wales international terrorised defences in England in the 2012-13 season and was eventually snapped up by Real Madrid for a world-record fee of £85.3 million.
Recently there have been suggestions that during those early days when Bale was struggling at Tottenham, the club wanted to sell him (click here to read more).
However, Sherwood has now revealed that Spurs chairman Levy always had faith in the ability of the Welshman and did not have any plans to sell him in his younger days.
“Watching Gareth when I worked at Spurs under Harry Redknapp, and then Andre Villas-Boas, I felt it was just a matter of time before he flourished into the player he has become,” the 45-year-old wrote in The Independent.
‘That was why there was no serious consideration to him being sold in the early days. Daniel Levy deserves credit on that front, too. He believed in Gareth.”
Bale struggled with injuries at the start of Madrid career, but he eventually recovered and established himself as a key player of the team.
In his debut season for Los Blancos, the 25-year-old won the Copa del Rey and the Champions League, scoring in the finals of both the competitions.