'Tottenham can challenge for title if they keep Bale'

The former Spurs midfielder is adamant that Andre Villas-Boas' side can mix it up with the two Manchester clubs and feels that they are very much in the hunt for a top-four finish
By Alex Ward

Sean Davis insists that former club Tottenham are capable of challenging for the title next season, but only if they can keep hold of star man Gareth Bale.

Spurs are battling to finish in the top four in 2012-13 but have proved that they are capable of mixing it with the Premier League's powerhouses with the PFA Player of the Year winner leading their attack.

Davis, who signed for the White Hart Lane club from Fulham back in 2004, feels that his old side have improved under current manager Andre Villas-Boas and insists that they can trouble the likes of Manchester United and City in 2013-14.

9/4 Tottenham are 9/4 with Bet365 to finish in the Premier League top four this season
"They've kicked on this season and the new manager has proved what a good manager he is," he told Goal. "They've adapted well to the the new manager's ideas and they were unlucky not to make it further in the Europa League.

"We're so used to Manchester City and United only winning the title but, I think, if Spurs keep hold of their players and invest a little then it could be a four- or five-horse race for the title next season.

"If they do that, then they won't just keep looking to make the Champions League - they'll be looking to win [the Premier League]."

Villas-Boas' side are currently in fifth place in the Premier League, knowing that they can ill-afford to slip up in their final two games of the season, but Davis believes that they have what it takes to finish on a high.

He added: "A lot of people are writing Spurs off and saying they won't make the top four but they're still in with a shout. I believe they've had a good season and I wouldn't write them off just yet. They've proved they've got the quality to make it and I think there'll be a few more twists and turns left in store."

Bale is third in the Premier League's scoring charts this season with 20 goals to his name ahead of the penultimate game of Spurs' season and Davis is under no illusions that the Welsh superstar is going to attract interest from rival clubs in the summer.

"If they do finish fifth, my only hope is that they can keep hold of their players and build on it," he continued. "Of course, if Spurs don't make the Champions League, there's going to be a huge question mark over Bale's future.

"Bale's been fantastic and, if he keeps improving his level of play, he'll be up there with one of the best in the world, so it'll be a huge blow if they lose him."

Sean will be available for autographs and photos at Sunday's game at Craven Cottage between Liverpool and Fulham as part of a promotional campaign for Barclays Pingit.