'A future star': Chelsea told they sold a player similar to Gareth Bale by his current teammate

Theo Walcott showered his Southampton colleague Tino Livramento with praise, which included comparing the former Chelsea star to Gareth Bale.

Speaking to talkSPORT, Walcott did not hold back whilst hyping up Livramento, to the extent he drew parallels between the defender and the Real Madrid man.

There is still some distance between the Saints full-back and Bale, not only in age but also in career achievements.

The Wales international has won four Champions League, two La Liga titles and the Premier League Player of the Year, amongst numerous other accolades.

Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Livramento, meanwhile, is only 12 games into his first season in senior football.

Yet, similarities certainly can be made between the two players.

Becoming Bale

Bale’s footballing journey started out at Southampton, before becoming one of the game’s most recognised stars.

He also began his adventure as a marauding left-back, not the driving forward we see today.

Both are elements that link to Livramento’s current status.

Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

“He reminds me of Gareth (Bale) when he was coming through as a full-back,” said Walcott on the teenager, having now played with the pair across his two spells on the south coast.

“I know that’s a big statement of course to compare him to someone like that.

“But I just feel like his presence and the way he drives and his pace and power and it’s not surprising what he’s going to do.

“But he’s so strong with the ball and very clever and technically fantastic.”

Livramento living up to the legacy

Followers of the Saints will probably find it hard to disagree with Walcott’s verdict.

Livramento has been a revelation since he left Chelsea to join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side in the summer.

He has started all 11 Premier League fixtures so far, scoring once and keeping five clean sheets.

Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

His purposeful runs down the channels have made him such a valuable attacking asset for Southampton.

“He’s not as shy and timid around the place,” continued Walcott.

“He’s got more of a presence. It just shows that there’s a future star there.

“I can’t complain, he’s been fantastic. The way he drives with the ball, so strong.

“He’s a big lad for his age as well and I’m amazed he’s not played before in the Premier League.

“I’m amazed Southampton picked him up from Chelsea. It’s a great buy and hopefully, we can keep hold of him because I’m sure teams will be sniffing around him.”

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

One of those teams could be Chelsea, who reportedly placed a buy-back clause of £38m in Livramento’s contract.

Based on the Bale comparison and his club displays, re-signing the England Under-21 international might not be out of the question.  

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Nathaniel is a football journalist who graduated from the University of Derby. He has worked at Burton Albion as part of their media team for two years. Nathaniel produces regular articles for the club’s official website and match-day programme. He covered the 2018 U20 Women’s World Cup in Brittany and has reported from grounds ranging from non-league up to the Premier League.