Some of European football’s biggest clubs have been on the trail of Real Betis’ Alvaro Vadillo since 2011 – with Barcelona, Manchester United, Arsenal and AC Milan all linked with moves for the player lazily dubbed ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’ – and now Tottenham have added their name to his list of suitors.
Vadillo first began to pique the attention of the continent’s footballing superpowers back in 2011 when, aged just 16 years 11 months and 16 days, he became the then-second-youngest player to play in La Liga when starting in a 1-0 away victory over Granada.
He was subsequently used as a substitute on a couple of occasions, before being allocated a starting berth for Betis’ home clash with Real Madrid.
Making a bright start to the match, he had been giving the visitors’ Spanish international defender Sergio Ramos merry hell when on 17 minutes Ramos brought him down in a rough tackle which damaged his cruciate ligament.
Unable to play again for six months, he only began to play again in December of the 2012/13 campaign, when seen mainly from the bench, but nonetheless managed to contribute a brace of assists to the cause as he finished the season strongly.
A winger who is equally adept at operating on either flank, his La Liga displays have been marked by impressive close control when attacking at pace, so it’s not surprising that his potential acquisition by Spurs is regarded as the bedding-in of a potential Gareth Bale replacement.
What’s more his agent has previously suggested that Vadillo used his time off injured to begin learning English, initiative which could ease a potentially tricky transition from Spain to English life for the teenager.
The future of Bale – the man Vadillo may be purchased to ultimately replace – will become more contingent on the White Hart Lane club’s ability to earn Champions League football with every passing year of the Welshman’s career, but Spurs are only sixth favourites for a top-four finish in 2013/14 at 19/10.
Thus far it’s not clear whether the Lilywhites will look to bring Vadillo in this summer or on an arrangement which will allow him to continue his first team development at Real Betis for a season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.