Former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp claims Spurs have their very own Robin van Persie in Gareth Bale, with the winger proving pivotal once again in victory over Newcastle United.
While Andre Villas-Boas' men currently occupy the fourth Champions League spot in the Premier League table, Arsenal are just four points behind in fifth, with Spurs wary having blown a larger buffer this time last year; eventually finishing behind their bitter north London rivals.
Many criticized Villas-Boas' lack of action in the January transfer window in failing to beef up his attacking options, with Jermain Defoe suffering injury woes and Emmanuel Adebayor struggling for form.
But as Bale continues to go from strength-to-strength, scoring a double in Tottenham's most recent victory over Newcastle, Redknapp claims he could be their savior as they look for qualification for European football's top tier once again.
Where would Tottenham be without Gareth Bale?
"Last season it seemed every time Arsenal won, Robin van Persie scored," he explained in the Daily Mail. "Gareth Bale is now performing the same role for Tottenham.
"In Spurs' last three league games he scored the equaliser at Norwich, the winner at West Brom and two against Newcastle. He has 15 this season and you wouldn't bet against him getting at least five more."
Tottenham have won five of their last eight matches, and haven't lost in 10, while Arsenal are still pushing hard to replace them in the top four.
And after the Gunners won a tough match against Sunderland at the weekend, Redknapp believes The Gunners have improved a lot since the start of the season.
"Arsenal's result was one of the best of the weekend in the Premier League," he explained. "With Bacary Sagna and Per Mertesacker - two of their poorer performers recently - in central defence, Arsene Wenger probably feared the worst.
"Sunderland is not an easy place to go but Arsenal dug in. The race for the top four is well and truly on."
Arsenal and Tottenham's schedule becomes all the more tough with the resumption of their respective European campaigns, and the pair meet on 3 March, with Spurs hoping to avenge the 5-2 defeat at the Emirates Stadium last November.
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