Manchester United defender Chris Smalling on ex-Tottenham Hotspur duo Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone

Chris Smalling

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has positive words for former Tottenham Hotspur duo Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has spoken highly of former Tottenham Hotspur duo Gareth Bale and Tom Huddlestone to the club’s official website.

Smalling has described Bale as the fastest player he has played against and Huddlestone as the best passer he has played against.

Wales international winger Bale is currently on the books of Real Madrid, having joined the European champions from Spurs in 2013, while Huddlestone moved to Hull City from the North London outfit in the summer of 2013.

While Smalling’s observation about Bale is something that many Premier League and La Liga players would share, his comment about Huddlestone is something that could some as a shock to many football followers.

The 28-year-old, who has played four times for England in his career, was on the books of Tottenham from 2005 to 2013.

Although Huddlestone was an important player for Spurs, he was not someone who was considered as one of the best midfielders, and certainly not one of the best passers.

But do the stats back up Smalling’s claim? Below are the stats for Huddlestone over the past four seasons:

  TeamSeasonTotal Pass/GameAccurate Pass/GameAppearancesMins Played
Tom Huddlestone Hull City 2013-2014 52.25 41.61 36 3,144
Tom Huddlestone Hull City 2014-2015 48.17 38.33 24 1,950
Tom Huddlestone Tottenham 2012-2013 33.15 27.7 20 1,028
Tom Huddlestone Tottenham 2011-2012 19 15 2 60

Over the past four seasons, Huddlestone has had a pass accuracy of just over 80% - not exactly exceptional, but certainly not bad.

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