Burley believes Gareth Bale had greater potential than Walcott

Gareth Bale Tottenham midfielder

Ex-Southampton boss George Burley believes that Gareth Bale is better than Theo Walcott.

Bale and Walcott were managed by Burley at Southampton and they still remain the youngest players to ever play for the Saints.

The former manager said that he thought early on that Gareth Bale had greater potential than Theo Walcott and believes that the extra months that Bale spent at Saints was extremely beneficial and made him a better player.

“I always thought Gareth was the better prospect; Theo had different attributes. Gareth was more the package in terms of that quality on the ball.

“Theo left Southampton when he was 16. That was in the very early stages of his career and he didn’t have that many games under his belt, while Gareth had two seasons.

“I think that has shown as Gareth has developed into a better player. I think in those early years, any player is building up.

“If you can get those two seasons under your belt at least, then when you move to a big club, you have certainly got a much better chance.

Gareth Bale has scored nine goals in his last seven games and is in the best form of his career and could face tempting offers during the summer from Europe, but Burley believes he will do what is right for him.

“He is loving his football. He is progressing. He is getting better. The world is at his feet.

“He is a level-headed lad and he has got a smashing family behind him.

“I am sure Gareth will make the decision that is right for his future.”

Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott come head to head this weekend when Tottenham take on Arsenal in the North London derby.

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