If you're trying to imagine Gareth Bale in a United shirt, perhaps this photo can assist your imagination.
In an interview with Match of the Day magazine, Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale revealed that he turned down Manchester United for his current club. The Welshman began his career as a left-back at Southampton and he then made his move for the North London club in 2007. He continued to play left-back for Spurs and he even made his competitive debut for them at Old Trafford in a match versus United. Benoit Assou-Ekotto became first-choice at left-back over Bale and it wasn't until the 2010-11 season when the latter began to regularly feature as a left-winger -- since then, he's obviously flourished. Here is what Bale had to say about choosing Spurs over United:
"Man United were interested in me but I wanted to play first-team football. I thought I had a better chance of getting that at Tottenham. The manager at the time, Martin Jol, told me he wanted me to go straight into the first team."
- Bale | Source: Match of the Day magazine
Had he come to United in 2007, he similarly would have been relegated to the bench since Patrice Evra was already at the club establishing himself as the first-choice left-back. Perhaps manager Sir Alex Ferguson would have also moved Bale further up the pitch but the Welshman would have been battling the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Carlos Tevez, Park Ji-sung, Ryan Giggs, and Nani since 2007 for opportunities on the left-flank. Bale is obviously a terrific player now and probably the best direct left-winger in the Premier League. However, it's difficult to say if he would have reached the heights he has now had he chosen United.