Modric confident he will justify his £16.5 million transfer fee
BY SIMON JACKSON LUKA Modric, Tottenham s joint club-record signing, is focused on making an immediate impact at White Hart Lane after his £16.5 million deal from Croatian champions Dynamo Zagreb in April. Modric burst into the public eye with a host of scintillating per
LUKA Modric, Tottenham's joint club-record signing, is focused on making an immediate impact at White Hart Lane after his £16.5 million deal from Croatian champions Dynamo Zagreb in April.
Modric burst into the public eye with a host of scintillating performances in the lead-up to Euro 2008 and quickly found himself on top of an array of premier league bosses' wish-lists.
Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal were all after the 22-year-old, who had run England ragged in the 3-2 Wembley victory in November - a game that ended England's European dream and led to Steve McLaren's departure.
Yet, the Zahar-born playmaker did not hesitate to accept Spurs manager Juande Ramos's offer to join the Lilywhites, whose ambitions match his own.
Despite Tottenham's disappointing start to the season at Middlesbrough, he is determined to justify his £16.5 million transfer fee and reward the fans with three points against Sunderland on Saturday.
"My thing is to play and to play as well as I possibly can," said the former Bosnian player of the year.
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"In Bosnia the game is very rough. It is not so much that it is a higher level but it is very rough. Referees do not spare you. So it did help me a lot to get used to playing so there are no more surprises waiting for me. That is why I know I will be able to play in the English league."
Modric joined the multiple champions Dynamo Zagreb six years ago but was soon loaned to Bosnian side Zrinjski Mostar. A spell at Inter Zapresic followed before he returned to Dynamo and went on to score 31 times in 112 games as the club racked up a hat-trick of league title triumphs and a brace of Croatian Cup victories.
And as Modric's stock continued to soar Ramos wasted no time in snapping up the services of the talented midfielder ahead of Euro 2008.
"We signed this player before the Euros because we knew his price could rise and we expect a lot from him," said Ramos.
The Croatian international completed his transfer ahead of the tournament in July and vindicated Ramos's judgment by grabbing the winning goal against hosts Austria while playing a key role in the campaign.
And the established playmaker, whose position at Spurs has yet to be finalised, believes his new club will overcome the shock move of the talismanic Robbie Keane to Liverpool.
"It has not been decided yet exactly where I will play but I hope that I'll be further forward than a defensive role," he said.
"That's where I have been playing for my national team. I feel the most comfortable in the forward position. I feel comfortable in the attacking positions.
"I'm not concerned [about Keane]. This team has a great ambition regardless of his leaving.
"Even if Dimitar Berbatov leaves I'm sure they will find another great player. This club really has a great future. We have a lot of positive things here.
"I agree that the team needs great players but I'm also certain that if Berbatov leaves that they will bring in other top players.
"I hope that he stays as he is a great player and he means a lot to the team. This club needs big names and this club will have big names.