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The Belgium defender praised the winger following his first Premier League goal for Spurs, claiming he has the potential to follow in the Real Madrid superstar's footsteps.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen says that in-form winger Andros Townsend can be the club’s new Gareth Bale.

Townsend scored his first Premier League goal for Spurs during Sunday’s 2-0 defeat of Aston Villa after a run of eye-catching performances for both club and country. Belgium center back Vertonghen played with Real Madrid’s Bale for the North London club last season and sees many similarities between the two wingers.

"I think Andros can be our new Gareth Bale," Vertonghen told reporters. "He has so much pace and technique and skills, and he can do it with both feet. I hope he can keep going like this and he can even be our best player.

"Can he reach the same level as Bale? Maybe one day, if he keeps working - and he will. He's young. In two or three years I think he can go to that level, yes.

"I remember playing against him in training last year. Sometimes I played left back so I played against him when he was on the right wing in training, and I never liked playing against him.

"He's 100 percent professional, and I like him as a person as well, so I'm very happy he's doing this well."

Townsend has mesmerized for Spurs this season following an impressive loan spell with Queens Park Rangers at the back-end of last season, when he scored twice in 12 games for the Hoops.