Gareth Bale in action for Tottenham Hotspur
An awful lot has happened at Tottenham Hotspur since the departure of star man Gareth Bale four years ago. The Spurs squad now is unrecognisable from the one that was so reliant on the Welshman for goals and inspiration. André Villas-Boas was in charge at the time of Bale's exit, but was soon replaced by Tim Sherwood, who would eventually be dismissed with current boss Mauricio Pochettino arriving from Southampton.
Spurs have come a long way as a club under Pochettino. The current side features a handful of good young English players such as Harry Kane, Dele Alli and Eric Dier. Built on a wonderful defence and aided by the goals of Kane and Alli, Tottenham have finished second and third in the last two Premier League campaigns, but for all their blooding of youngsters and exciting progress, they are yet to pick up any silverware.
As well as on-field progression, Tottenham are making a move off the field, although not very far, as White Hart Lane is replace by Spurs' new stadium. Bale's last two games for Tottenham oddly enough came against Jamaica and Swindon Town, the latter of those being his very last game, and the starting XI we take a look at here:
Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris warming up at Tottenham
In goal for Tottenham in their 1-1 draw with Swindon Town was Hugo Lloris. The Frenchman has now been at Tottenham for five years, and has proved a very shrewd piece of business, with Spurs reportedly shedding out somewhere in the region of £12.5 million for the acrobatic goalkeeper. Now aged 30, Lloris has played more than 200 games for Spurs and won 90 caps for France.
Only two players in this XI are still at Tottenham Hotspur, and they just happen to be the first two on the team sheet. Whilst Kyle Walker is still at Tottenham though, he has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City this summer. The pacy right-back would be a big loss to Mauricio Pochettino having been one of the best and most consistent full-backs in the league last season.
Former Spurs stalwart and club captain Michael Dawson left the club in 2014 to join Hull City, the club where his brother Andy spent more than a decade. In his nine years at Tottenham, Dawson played 324 games, winning the League Cup in 2008 and the club's Player of the Year award in 2010. Since joining Hull City, Dawson has been relegated twice and promoted once in his three seasons with the Tigers, playing 91 games.
Liverpool's Kevin Stewart in action with Barcelona's Lionel Messi
Andre Villas-Boas paired youth with experience at the back against the Robins in 2013, as Kevin Stewart lined up alongside Michael Dawson. The Enfield-born defensive midfielder left Spurs in 2014, without having made a league appearance for the club, joining Liverpool on a free transfer. Stewart is still with the Reds, now aged 23, having made a total of 20 appearances in three years, being loaned out three times.
Kyle Naughton joined Tottenham Hotspur along with Kyle Walker from Sheffield United in 2009. The full-back remained at White Hart Lane up until January 2015, when he made a £5 million move to Swansea City. Naughton has been a regular with the Swans ever since, narrowly avoiding relegation to the Championship last season.
Tottenham Hotspur have sold a number of players to Hull City in recent years, and Tom Huddlestone was one of the first. The gifted midfielder who plays the game at his own pace is capable of both bossing a midfield and being lost in one. He was superb for Spurs alongside Luka Modric in midfield, but fell out-of-favour following an injury and joined the Tigers for £5 million in 2013, where he is now one of the club's longest serving players.
Andre Villas Boas with new signings Jan Vertonghen and Gylfi Sigurdsson
Another talented midfielder who Tottenham let go, they may regret selling Gylfi Sigurdsson to Swansea City. The Icelandic attacking midfielder had the second most assists and sixth most goals of any midfielder in the Premier League during 2016-17, and has been linked with a move to a top seven club this summer.
Algerian midfielder Nabil Bentaleb featured regularly for Tottenham during the 2014-15 campaign, but obviously wasn't fancied by Mauricio Pochettino, who was happy for the 22-year-old to first loaned and then sold to Bundesliga outfit Schalke.
The subject of this article and Spurs' sole goal scorer in their 1-1 draw with Swindon that day, Gareth Bale's career has arguably stalled a little during 2016-17, as injuries blighted his campaign. The superb performances of Isco made his return to the first team far from routine, but if Cristiano Ronaldo really does leave the Bernabeu, Bale could find himself in a position to become the main man for Real. The Welshman has won three Champions League trophies in four years with Los Blancos.
Cristian Ceballos looking dejected at Spurs
Former Barcelona youth prospect and Youtube sensation Cristian Ceballos joined Tottenham in 2013 as an 18-year-old. Despite impressing at times for the Spurs youth and reserve sides, he never made a competitive first team appearance, and was released in 2015. The Spanish number 10 subsequently joined Charlton Athletic, where he has played five league games but was loaned out for all of last season.
Tottenham favourite Jermain Defoe spent nine years at White Hart Lane in two separate spells. His Premier League days were seemingly over in January 2014, when he left Spurs for MLS side Toronto FC, but three-and-a-half years on, the born poacher is back in England and back among the goals, having been prolific over the last two seasons in a struggling Sunderland side. Relegated from the Premier League last season, Defoe is widely expected to leave Sunderland and remain in the top flight this summer.
Jermain Defoe should still be in the Premier League next season
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