December 8 2013 Latest news:
By Ben Pearce, Tottenham correspondent
Thursday, September 12, 2013
Andre Villas-Boas believes Christian Eriksen could become as influential as two other former Ajax stars, Wesley Sneijder and Rafael van der Vaart, after his move to Tottenham.
Denmark international Eriksen was an £11.5million signing from the Dutch club in the final week of the transfer window – arriving at White Hart Lane on the same day as Erik Lamela and Vlad Chiriches.
The 21-year-old, who looks set to play in the No10 role for the Lilywhites, is yet to appear for his new club, but Villas-Boas has high hopes for the youngster and is considering handing him his debut against Norwich on Saturday.
“What we did in the transfer market is in the expectancy of these players becoming world stars,” said the head coach. “I think what happened with Christian is a bit like what happened with Van der Vaart and Sneijder when they were at Ajax.
“They reached a moment in their careers where they became extremely important for the team, and the club that goes there and gets them makes a great transfer move, and we expect great things of Christian Eriksen. We would like to develop him into becoming that type of important player for us as well.
“Will he be in the line-up this weekend? There is a big possibility but it’s not a certainty yet.
“The market finished last Monday and we signed three players that trained for the first time with us on Friday two weeks ago. They have since departed to international duty, and we’ve just seen him back today.
“To train with the team, to have the experiences with their colleagues - for Eriksen, for Vlad and Lamela - they haven’t had enough time to bond together so it’s something we have to work on.”
Another 21-year-old signing, Lamela, has already donned his new Spurs shirt after making a brief cameo in the closing stages of the north London.
It is also uncertain whether he will feature against Norwich, having been away with Argentina during the international break and only returned to England this morning, but Villas-Boas is predicting a bright future for the ex-Roma livewire.
“I think the qualities that he brings to our team are his creativeness, his ability to find a pass and the last pass that leads to a goal,” said Villas-Boas.
“He is a natural talent. He is not a pure winger, he is creative and likes to come inside and find different spaces. He’s a player with tremendous potential that we have to work on.
“He is going to suffer problems of adaptation, bearing in mind the fact that he doesn’t speak a word of English. He has to adapt to a completely different culture and mentality.
“Also the Premier League is very specific in its intensity. It’s nothing like the Argentinean league or Serie A, so that will require some kind of adaptation, but for somebody so gifted it shouldn’t be a problem. He is a wonderful, gifted footballer.
“The fact that he’s yet to train with the team puts him in a very difficult position to start the game, but it’s not impossible.”
Chiriches’ chances of making his debut against Norwich are also in doubt: “We haven’t finalised his work permit yet,” said Villas-Boas. “It’s a process that takes a bit more time – unfortunately for him.
“He is fit, he is training and he was involved in both games for Romania, but there is the possibility that we won’t see him involved.”
Gylfi Sigurdsson missed today’s training session with a dead leg, and Emmanuel Adebayor is currently away from the club.
“At the moment Ade is not with us, because we have granted him authorisation to stay up until Monday in his country for personal reasons, so he’s not going to be involved against Norwich,” said Villas-Boas. “Up to when I find it appropriate, he will train with the development team.”
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