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Kaboul can be the new King, says Spurs skipper

PUBLISHED: 16:35 03 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:43 07 September 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26:  Ledley King of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at White Hart Lane on January 26, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 26: Ledley King of Spurs in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Fulham at White Hart Lane on January 26, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

2010 Getty Images

LEDLEY King believes that Younes Kaboul can become 'one of the great defenders' if he is nurtured properly on his return to White Hart Lane. King is well acquainted with Spurs' £8million centre-back, who made 29 appearances for the Lilywhites...

LONDON - OCTOBER 01:  Younes Kaboul of Tottenham celebrates his goal and Tottenham's fourth during the Barclays Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa at White Hart Lane on October 1, 2007 in London, England.  (Photo by Phil Cole/Getty Images)

By Ben Pearce

LEDLEY King believes that Younes Kaboul can become "one of the great defenders" if he is nurtured properly on his return to White Hart Lane.

King is well acquainted with Spurs' £8million centre-back, who made 29 appearances for the Lilywhites in the 2007/08 campaign before leaving for Harry Redknapp's Portsmouth.

The 24-year-old followed the manager back to Tottenham on Saturday, and King has vowed to help his junior colleague to finally fulfill his potential.

"He's very good, a good lad and a great athlete," said King. "He's young and, as young players do, they make mistakes, especially in defence. It's down to us as a team to nurture his talent because he's a fantastic talent. We've got to give him confidence because he can be one of the great defenders around if he works hard and improves. It's down to us to get that out of him.

"Woody [Woodgate] and myself have played in the league for a long time and as experienced players we try to help the younger players. Kaboul, I've spent time with him before and we spoke about him becoming a better player and concentrating.

"If he can put everything together and work hard then there's no doubt he's going to be another great player. I'm sure that's going to happen because defenders don't reach their peak until they're a little bit older.

"I've seen him this season and he has done well. Maybe the responsibility of the situation at Portsmouth has helped him to develop as a player. He's always had the talent, we all saw that first-hand. It's about keeping him confident and giving him belief and then he'll do the business."

King and Kaboul could both be involved on Saturday against Aston Villa, who will be intent on overturning the narrow two-point gap to Tottenham in the ongoing race for a top-four finish.

"All the games have got a big feel at the moment, but they're a good team and a team that are trying to make the top four, like ourselves," King added. "It's going to be a good game, they're dangerous away from home and we're expecting a tough test.

"As soon as you drop points there are team waiting to take your spot. Last week Liverpool and Villa dropped points in midweek, and we got the win [against Fulham]. On Saturday it was the other way around. I expect it to go like that until the end of the season, it's whoever remains the most consistent that will grab the fourth place.

"It's nice to have something to play for. In my time Tottenham have never really competed for much in the league and it's nice to have something to play for throughout, right to the end of the season and to the last game. That's how it's going to be this season, I'm sure it's going to go all the way to the last game and that keeps everyone on their toes.


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