Tottenham winger Gareth Bale has praised the impact of team-mate Kyle Walker.
The former Sheffield United player, in his first full season for Spurs, quickly established himself as first-choice right-back after a string of impressive performances, which culminated with him being crowned PFA Young Player of the Year.
Having initially struggled to break into the north Londoners’ first-team earlier in his career himself, Bale recognises that a run of games was the opportunity Walker needed to display his ability for all to see at White Hart Lane.
Bale told Spurs TV: “He needed a run in the team, he got that and he’s showed exactly what he can do this season.
“He’s played really well. He’s set himself a benchmark this season and hopefully he can maintain it.”
However, Bale has warned Walker to expect a tougher time next season with players now aware of the threat he poses after experiencing the same problem since he introduced himself in early 2010.
He added: “Players know all about him now, they will be looking to stop those forward runs and he has to find a way around it – I’m sure he will.”
A toe injury ruled Walker out of the chance to represent England at Euro 2012 after gaining his first cap in the 1-0 friendly victory over Spain in November 2011.