Football is a tricky game, and there have been instances where talented young players have failed to succeed at the highest level because of certain reasons.
The physicality and the speed of the game at the highest level are different from youth football, and some young players tend to do well when their roles or their positions in the team are changed. For older players as well, there is a need to understand the demands of the body and act accordingly in order to stretch their career at the top level.
We look at the 5 players who rejuvenated their career with a positional change.
#5 Gareth Bale
A product of the famed Southampton academy, Gareth Bale was regarded as one of the best forwards in the world during his prime.
His days at Southampton saw him play as a left-back, where his sheer pace and physicality, as well as his prowess with free-kicks, saw him make a name for himself. Bale was an attack-minded left-back, and his move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2007 for a fee of £13 million resulted in a positional change that would alter his career.
Then Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp started utilizing him as a winger, and the Wales international shone in his new role. Relieved of his defensive duties, Bale became one of the best wingers in the Premier League, and his performances for Tottenham Hotspur saw him move to Real Madrid for a then world-record fee of £91 million in 2013.
The 31-year-old enjoyed tremendous success during his early years at Real Madrid. However, he did not have the best of relationships with manager Zinedine Zidane as well as the fans of the club. He is currently on loan at Tottenham Hotspur, where he has scored 11 goals and provided 3 assists in 28 appearances across all competitions.
#4 Vincent Kompany
One of the best bargain buys in the history of the Premier League, Vincent Kompany is a Manchester City legend who played a key role in their transformation as one of the best clubs in the world.
A highly-rated talent during his Anderlecht days, Kompany played as a defensive midfielder for the Belgian side, as well as for Hamburger. He joined Manchester City in 2008 for a fee of £7.5 million, and during his initial days at the club, he was used as a midfielder.
However, the Belgium international became a centre-back as time progressed, with his aerial ability, physicality, intelligence and leadership quality all becoming vital to Manchester City's back-line. He made 360 appearances in all competitions for the club, with his latter years being hampered by various injury issues.
The 35-year old returned to Anderlecht in 2019 as player-manager. He retired as a player in 2020, but continues to manage Anderlecht.
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