Gareth Bale’s top 10 Tottenham moments as star closes in on sensational return

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Tottenham fans are getting more and more excited that a return for their former hero Gareth Bale could really be about to happen.

Speculation linking the Welshman with a move back to north London has often been rife in the past, but this time seems different, and it looks like it is just a matter of time before a deal is completed.

Spurs supporters will no doubt allow themselves to wallow in a bit of nostalgia if the move does go through, given just how many magic moments Bale conjured up during his six seasons at the club between 2007-13.

Here is a look back at 10 of the best Bale moments from his previous spell at Spurs.

Gareth Bale was a firm fans' favourite at Tottenham
(Image: Action Images)

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10. First goal v Arsenal (2007)

Bale did not exactly hit the ground running when he first joined from Southampton in 2007, but he did give fans a glimpse of what was to come early on with a superb free-kick against Spurs' bitter enemies Arsenal in September.

His effort curled around the Gunners' wall and into the bottom left-hand corner to give his side the lead, and although they would go on to lose the match 3-1 the goal certainly didn't harm Bale's popularity with the home crowd.

9. On the winning side v Burnley (2009)

It is remarkable to think now, but at one stage it looked like things would just not work out for Bale at Spurs despite his obvious talent.

Incredibly, he failed to appear on the winning side in his first 25 league games for the club, and there were rumours he could be sold to the likes of Nottingham Forest.

He finally got a taste of Premier League victory in a Spurs shirt when he appeared as a second-half substitute in a 5-0 win against Burnley, though, and didn't look back from there.

8. Crucial goals v Arsenal and Chelsea (2010)

Bale celebrates his goal against Arsenal
(Image: Kent Gavin Daily Mirror)

After slowly but surely breaking into the first-team, Bale exploded into life over the course of just a few days to net two huge goals and help Spurs in their pursuit for European qualification.

First, he side-footed home what ended up being the winning goal in a 2-1 victory against Arsenal, and then repeated the trick just three days later with a long-range effort in a 2-1 win over Chelsea.

The two positive results ultimately proved crucial in helping the side qualify for the Champions League for the first ever time, and Bale played a huge part in getting them there.

7. Spectacular volley v Stoke (2010)

Bale scored arguably his most technically impressive goal in a Lilywhites shirt at the start of the 2010-11 campaign during a 2-1 victory over Stoke.

He walloped a volley from an Aaron Lennon cross into the top corner to hand his team the three points and add to a goal he had already scored in the first half.

We were seeing the first glimpses of just how good Bale could be.

6. Solo strike helps stun Man Utd (2012)

Let's fast forward a few years to 2012, where Bale helped Spurs record their first win at Old Trafford since 1989 in a breathless 3-2 win.

With Andre Villas-Boas' side already 1-0 up, Bale picked the ball up in the centre-circle before motoring past a helpless Rio Ferdinand and coolly finishing in the bottom far corner.

It was another superb strike to add to his ever-growing showreel.

5. A treble v Aston Villa (2012)

Bale recorded his first Premier League hat-trick against Aston Villa
(Image: REUTERS)

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Bale's first and only Premier League hat-trick came in a 4-0 thrashing of Aston Villa away from home on Boxing Day.

All three goals were impressive in their own right, but the pick of the bunch was the first, in which he finished off a sweeping counter attack with his typical lightning pace before taking the ball past the keeper and tapping home.

Villa will certainly not relish seeing him lining up against them if he does return to north London this season.

4. Fabulous free-kicks v Lyon (2013)

We saw the first signs of Bale taking inspiration from his idol Cristiano Ronaldo when he scored two superb free-kicks in a Europa League win against French side Lyon.

His first was a swerving, dipping 35-yard effort, while his second was struck deep into injury time as he hammered in another outstanding goal.

Bale was beginning to gain a reputation as a set-piece specialist.

3. Leaving it late v West Ham (2013)

Bale's late goal against West Ham was one of his most memorable
(Image: Reuters)

Bale seemed to almost single-handedly keep Spurs in top four contention in the 2012-13 season, and his last minute wonder-goal against West Ham was another example of that.

With the scores level at 2-2, he sealed the three points with a last-gasp long-range stunner which flew into the top corner and sent the away end into raptures.

It was one of the best of his 21 Premier League goals during the campaign, but ultimately Spurs just fell short of Champions League qualification in fifth place, and Bale departed for Spain.

2. Inter Milan: Part 1 (2010)

But we have to go back in time again to remember surely the two most iconic and ground-breaking Bale performances during his time at White Hart Lane.

It is October 2010, and Spurs are 4-0 down to Inter Milan at half-time at the San Siro and down to 10 men.

A damage limitation job? Think again.

A fresh-faced Bale went on to produce one of the most remarkable 45 minute performances in living memory, scoring a brilliant hat-trick to take his side to within touching distance of what would have been one of the most extraordinary comebacks in the competition's history.

But he wasn't done there…

1. Inter Milan: Part 2 (2010)

Bale left Maicon for dead in the Champions League games against Inter Milan
(Image: Action Images)

As "Taxi for Maicon" rang out around White Hart Lane, all who were present knew they were witnessing the start of something very, very special.

Bale didn't score in the 3-1 victory over the Italian giants, but he did produce a performance that will be remembered for many years to come.

He ripped down the left-hand wing all night, beating Brazilian international Maicon for pace time and time again, and he set up two of Spurs' goals following brilliant runs down that flank.

It was one of the finest individual performances in Tottenham's history, and will be talked about for generations.

Now… can Bale produce that sort of showing again a full ten years later?

It looks like we will soon find out.

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