Spurs star explains why Kaboul has finally fulfilled his potential
EXCLUSIVE: Ledley King says Younes Kaboul is finally fulfilling his potential, becoming the main man in the rearguard after learning to simply “be a defender”.
And Tottenham’s club captain has also tipped 20-year-old prospect Steven Caulker to follow in Kaboul’s footsteps and become a big Spurs star in the future.
King has played with Kaboul in two spells at Tottenham, with the Frenchman leaving White Hart Lane for Portsmouth in 2008 before following Harry Redknapp back to north London.
King initially responded to the news of Kaboul’s return in January 2010 by saying: “I’ve spent time with him before and we spoke about him becoming a better player and concentrating.”
Now, two and a half years on, the Spurs skipper says his team-mate has learned from the mistakes that were holding him back and is making the most of his talents.
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“When he came back that’s what I felt he needed to improve on [his concentration], because he had all the attributes – and last season he showed that,” King told London24.com. “He really made the spot his own because he had the focus.
“Some players can tend to want to do too much, and I think he’s been our best defender because he’s confident in his ability, his concentration levels were higher last season and he wants to defend and be a defender.
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“Once he’s done that the rest of his game will naturally come out because he’s got the talent.
“As he says himself, last season was his best season – he was right up there with the best centre-backs in the league.
“I think he was right on the tip of everyone’s tongues when they were picking their best teams throughout the season. I’m sure his name was right up there, and that’s a testament to what he’s done.”
King also has high hopes for the young Spurs centre-back Caulker, who impressed on loan at Swansea last season and has been selected for Great Britain’s Olympic football team.
“Again he’s got all the attributes to be a top defender,” said King. “It’s difficult for centre-halves to play in the Premier League at such a young age.
“Naturally he’ll make mistakes at his age, but it’s important that he gets his education, which he has done – and he was brilliant last season.
“For him it’s just a matter of playing in the Premier League and learning, and if he does that I’ve got no doubt that he’ll be a top centre-half.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs