With the back four now in place, it’s time to analyse what Tottenham’s best midfield should be. With an abundance of talent in the area of the park, To the Lane and Back’s choice of players has been tough but an easier selection to make was that of the players charged with protecting the defence. First up is Brazilian giant Sandro.
The man mountain of a defensive midfielder made a name for himself during his time in Brazil with former club Internacional, racking up over 100 appearances for the former Copa Liberdatores champions. And it was his performances in the highly-rated South American competition that saw teams around the world stand up and take notice.
Real Madrid were heavily linked with the 22-year-old but it was Spurs who won the race for his signature due to the commercial relationship between the two sides. Having agreed to allow him to remain with Internacional until the culmination of the 2010 Copa Liberdatores, he only joined up with the North London outfit in August and, following a gruelling Brazilian campaign, wasn’t thrust into the first-team straight away.
Nonetheless, many fans were initially sceptical about Sandro, from his initial performances he wasn’t looking like the player the glowing reports from the scouting team had provided. But, as he became accustomed to the pace of the English game, he looked more and more like a steal for only the reported £12m spent to bring him to White Hart Lane.
Tim Sherwood compared him to Patrick Vieira both physically and his ability to stop attacks an initiate others. A fine strike evidenced by his 30-yard wonder goal in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea showed he can score goals meanwhile, his box-to-box play is reminiscent of Michael Essien and Vieria in their respective heydays.
Looking more and more mature than his age let’s off, AC Milan and AS Roma were heavily linked with a move for the Brazilian but having recently inked a new five-year deal with Spurs, the Italian duo will have to pay a pretty penny to prise him for Spurs’ hands. His season may only have just started, having sustained a knee injury during the Copa America which required surgery and subsequently saw him ruled out for the previous three months.
His displays in the centre of the park in the second half of last season showed why he is so highly rated not just by the management, but also the fans and his team-mates. Many were shocked that he didn’t start the 2-1 win over Arsenal and when he came on, his impact made all the difference to the game. The cheer he received, louder than expected for a defensive midfielder, when his number was held up proves how the fans feel about their new samba star and it appears to be a mutual thing after fans requested he change his new hair colour from red to blue only for Sandro to duly comply.
Many are now hoping to see Sandro and new arrival Scott Parker form a dynamic partnership in the middle of the park and with both players on top of their game, opponents will find it hard to break down Spurs should Redknapp employ a 4-2-3-1 formation with both Captain Combover and Lou Ferigno doing the dirty work so the attacking quartet can wreck havoc on the opponents goal.