Tottenham fullback Gareth Bale admits he uses Ashley Cole as inspiration.

Tottenham fans may not appreciate it but the player he has tried to emulate is Cole, once a star of arch-enemies Arsenal and now battling to overcome an ankle injury and operation with Chelsea.

Bale, 20, said: "I think ­Ashley is the best left-back in the world. He has been showing that week in, week out for God knows how long.

"It is a blow for Chelsea to be without a player of his stature. He will be missed.

"I am sure he will come back just as strong."