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Where Wales star earned his Spurs – Gareth Bale’s time at Tottenham in pictures

Gareth Bale File Photo
(Image credit: Adam Davy)

Gareth Bale has returned to Tottenham on a season-long loan deal.

The Welshman developed into one of the Premier League’s shining stars during his stint at Spurs before heading to Real Madrid seven years ago for a then world-record fee of £85.3million.

His early years at Tottenham were blighted by injuries and a lack of clarity over where he was best suited, while his first victory as a starter in the top flight came at the 23rd time of asking in January 2010.

Bale quickly kicked on, as later that year he bagged a hat-trick against Inter Milan at San Siro, with Spurs losing 4-3 despite his efforts, while he was subsequently integral to a famous Tottenham win over the reigning European champions at White Hart Lane.

In his final season before moving to Spain, he scored 21 times in 33 top-flight appearances – the first time he had reached double figures – to collect a glut of individual honours.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look back at Bale’s time with Tottenham in pictures.

Bale bagged his first Tottenham goal in September 2007 but he would not experience his first win as a starter in the Premier League until January 2010 (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale bagged his first Tottenham goal in September 2007 but he would not experience his first win as a starter in the Premier League until January 2010 (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale struggled to make an initial impression at Tottenham, with injuries leading to his progress faltering (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bale struggled to make an initial impression at Tottenham, with injuries leading to his progress faltering (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bale, left, often found himself competing with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, right for a starting role (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bale, left, often found himself competing with Benoit Assou-Ekotto, right for a starting role (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bale gradually started to flourish on the domestic and European stage (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale gradually started to flourish on the domestic and European stage (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale elevated his status with a Champions League hat-trick at the San Siro before playing a starring role in the return match against Inter Milan (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Bale elevated his status with a Champions League hat-trick at San Siro before playing a starring role in the return match against Inter Milan (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Having initially started out as a left-back at Tottenham, Bale realised his potential further up the flank (Nick Potts/PA)

Having initially started out as a left-back at Tottenham, Bale realised his potential further up the flank (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale was indisputably Tottenham's leading light in his final season in 2012-13 (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale was indisputably Tottenham’s leading light in his final season in 2012-13 (Nick Potts/PA)

Bale, left, scored 21 times in 33 Premier League games in 2012-13 before leaving for Real Madrid (Adam Davy/PA)

Bale, left, scored 21 times in 33 Premier League games in 2012-13 before leaving for Real Madrid (Adam Davy/PA)