How Gareth Bale 'didn't give a s***' during Southampton rise that shaped glittering careerby Sam Meade
One of Gareth Bale's former team-mates claims one of his greatest assets when he broke into the Southampton first-team was that he "didn't give a s***".
David Prutton, who watched the Welshman take St Mary's by storm as a teenager, has praised Bale's willingness to try things.
The now Real Madrid man has gone on to have a hugely successful career, winning four Champions League medals at the Bernabeu.
Prior to that he was a star at Tottenham and was twice named the PFA Player of the Year.
The north London club signed Bale from Southampton in May 2007 after he'd made 45 professional appearances.
George Burley was the man who gave him his Saints debut and Prutton reveals how Bale was a breath of fresh air.
He told the Athletic : “What he brought was that freshness, that exuberance… that not giving a s***, which is great about young players.
"Not in a sense of not caring about the result, but in a sense of trying things and being indulged by — not too much, but enough — by a manager who can say ‘look, you’re very good at doing this, do more of that’, and listening to what coaches and senior pros are telling you.”
Bale scored five goals for Southampton in his breakout season which earned him a move to Tottenham.
And Prutton admits he settled into the first team very swiftly, which was partly down to the Welshman realising he belonged there.
He added: “When he was in the first team, what made him feel comfortable was him probably realising, ‘Hang on, I’m pretty good here. Hang on, I’m holding my own. Hang on, I’m going to become someone’.
"Not to say there was any hint of arrogance about him, but he trained hard."