New boys must make an impact, says Harry
HARRY Redknapp says he has no problem with swapping younger players for older models as he focuses on improving Tottenham s first team. The Spurs boss bade farewell to striker Darren Bent at Heathrow airport on Monday...
By Ben Pearce
HARRY Redknapp says he has no problem with swapping younger players for older models as he focuses on improving Tottenham's first team.
The Spurs boss bade farewell to striker Darren Bent at Heathrow airport on Monday as the 25-year-old pulled out of the pre-season trip to China to complete his �14million from White Hart Lane to Sunderland.
Bent's replacement was signed just hours later, as 28-year-old frontman Peter Crouch rejoined Tottenham for �9m from Portsmouth, nine years after leaving his first ever club for �60,000.
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Despite making a �5m profit from the swap, Spurs chairman Daniel Levy had reservations about the deals, feeling that Crouch has little sell-on value.
But his manager believes that Tottenham have been focusing on the future for far too long, stating that Spurs must be willing to splash out on senior players who will have an immediate impact.
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"We just took two kids from Sheffield United and we want young players, but at the end of the day it's all about your first team," said Redknapp. "You need experience and people who are going to go out and win football matches.
"It's no good saying 'well we're going to be a good team in four years', because I probably won't be here. That's not how the game works, you need a team.
"If we can find a couple of young players like the two we got from Sheffield United we'll be the first in the queue. We've got [John] Bostock and kids like that who we've brought in.
"We're looking for young talent, and we're looking to find young players who will play here for years to come. But that can mean bringing in an experienced player to pull all of them together.
"But there's no problem with the chairman on that front. He brought me here as the manager and he knows I've got a bit of an idea what I'm doing, so he backs me."
Neither Bent nor Crouch were available to Redknapp on Wednesday morning when Tottenham took on London rivals West Ham in the Premier League Asia Trophy in Beijing.
Spurs triumphed 1-0 in the Worker's Stadium courtesy of a 75th-minute winner from Jermain Defoe, whose low shot eluded Hammers' keeper Robert Green and trickled over the line.
With Ledley King, Jonathan Woodgate and Michael Dawson all injured, Redknapp deployed Tom Huddlestone in central defence alongside Vedran Corluka.
New signing Kyle Naughton started on the right of midfield with Alan Hutton selected at right-back for the third time in a row. Jamie O'Hara also made his third successive start on the left flank.
Roman Pavlyuchenko and Robbie Keane were each given a half alongside matchwinner Defoe in a very dominant showing from the Lilywhites, who face the winners of Hull City and Beijing Guoan in the competition's final tomorrow (Friday).
Bent wasn't the only Spurs player to miss the trip to China, and David Bentley could also be on his way out of Tottenham after mysteriously staying in England this week.
The �15m flop was also omitted from both of Redknapp's 20-man Wembley Cup squads at the weekend.
Officially, Bentley's exile is due to a dead leg suffered 13 days ago in the friendly victory over Bournemouth.
But Jermaine Jenas, who suffered a knock of his own in the 1-1 draw with Barcelona on Friday and was left out against Celtic on Sunday, did travel to China with the rest of the squad.