Lucas Vazquez Revels in the Form of Real Madrid Ace After Yet Another Stunning Performance

The 26 year old Spanish striker Lucas Vazquez has heaped praise upon his compatriot Isco, after he came off the bench in place of Vazquez to rescue Los Blancos in their game on Saturday against Getafe. 

In an interview with ​Marca, Vazquez decared: “Isco doesn’t hide who he is, his football is from the street.

“The way Isco plays, it comes from inside, it is a pleasure to play with him. He is in wonderful form and I hope it stays that way for a long time.”

Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane had been hoping to give Isco a well earned rest, taking into consideration his exploits for Spain in the international break, as well as their upcoming Champions League tie with Tottenham.

However, with Real stuttering against a stubborn Getafe side, the Frenchman knew he only had one man to turn to. The Malaga born playmaker has arguably been the best midfielder in the world this season, with perhaps only Kevin De Bruyne of Manchester City offering him competion. 

Real Madrid v Espanyol - La Liga

This has failed to go unnoticed in the Spanish capital, and with 20 minutes to go and the two sides at a stalemate, Isco was charged with breaking the deadlock. 

And break it he did, providing an immediate impetus to Los Blancos before eventually supplying Cristiano Ronaldo, with a sumptious chipped pass, his first goal in La Liga this season and all three points for Madrid.

Vazquez was also supportive of Ronaldo, who before his winner had had a difficult afternoon, which inclued missing a guilt-edged chance from only 2 yards away.

Of the Real Madrid talisman, the striker said: “It was only a matter of time before he scored his first La Liga goal this season.

“He came up at the end, gave us three points and he is very happy.”

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Real Madrid Scouts Monitoring 3 Youth Stars at U17 World Cup Ahead of Summer Swoops

​Real Madrid are eyeing up three young starlets from the Under-17 World Cup as Los Blancos continue to focus their transfer policy towards youth, according to Spanish publication ​Marca. 

The current La Liga and Champions League holders have taken a slightly alternative route to their big-money splurging reputation of old, honing their attention instead towards developing talent through the ranks at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium in recent times. 

The currently on-going U17 World Cup, based in India, is seemingly awash with future talent, and Los Blancos have their eye on three of the best. 

According to the report, Madrid talent-spotters are overseeing the performances and development of French striker Aminen Gouiri, Brazilian midfielder Alan, and Spanish winger Ferran Torres.

Gouiri has already made a name for himself on the youth international stage, netting a record-breaking eight goals during the U17 European Championships earlier this year, even though his side only reached the quarter-finals.

The frontman currently plies his trade at French side Lyon, and Madrid chiefs are hopeful that their strong relationship with the Ligue 1 outfit, strengthened by the sale of Mariano this summer, will prove beneficial during their attempts to capture the young talisman. 

Next on the list is Brazil U17 international star Alan, who currently plays his club football for Palmeiras.

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The 17-year-old has been on the club’s radar since Los Blancos forged a deal to take national teammate Vinicius Jr to Spain next summer for around €45m (£40m). 
It has been reported that the midfielder’s agent Juan Figer met with Real chiefs over the summer at the Santiago Bernabeu in order to gauge a potential deal to the Spanish capital. 
Closer to home is the highly-thought-of Torres, who is set to break into the Valencia first-team once back from representing his nation’s youth side. 
It is also expected that once back in action at the Camp de Mestalla a new deal will be tabled for the 17-year-old, with it thought the hot-prospect has only an €8m (£7.1m) release clause in his current deal. 

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Getafe 1-2 Real Madrid: Ronaldo’s Dramatic Late Winner Rescues Real After Lacklustre Display

Real Madrid were rescued by Cristiano Ronaldo’s first league goal of the season on Saturday afternoon, having looked like falling yet more points behind leaders Barcelona.

Los Blancos entered the game needing all three points to make up the lost ground after their stuttering start to the season, while 12th place Getafe were looking to contain the Spanish champions in the hope that they would escape with at least a point.

​Neither team could really make a mark on the game in the opening 20 minutes, with slow build-ups and cagey wing play characterising the opening segments. Real’s injury stricken team seemed to be hesitant to push forward in their usual manner, with a number of key names missing from the starting eleven.

Getafe v Real Madrid - La Liga

However, the champions started to assert their presence on the home team as full-backs Marcelo and 18 year-old Hakimi pushed forward on the flanks, allowing Marco Asensio and Lucas Vazquez to come inside. 

This proved difficult for Getafe to cope with, as Vazquez fizzed in a low cross to Karim Benzema, but the Frenchman’s audacious flick failed to open the scoring with the first chance of the match. Getafe’s best chance of the half came when frontman Molina snuck in front of Kiko Casilla as a cross came in, only to turn his header over the bar.

It wasn’t until five minutes before the break when Los Blancos opened the scoring, courtesy of Benzema’s first goal of the season. After a period of mounting pressure, Real finally broke through after a mistake in midfield allowed Benzema to slip in behind the defence, beat Juan Cala, and unleash a clinical finish past Guaita in the Getafe goal.

The second half started much like the first, with both teams failing to find a clear way through. Marcelo had an early chance just five minutes in, when his curling effort was prevented from finding the top corner.

However, Real’s early pressure was quickly snuffed out when Getafe captain Molina connected with a low cross to give the home side the equaliser. This set the tone for the remainder of the half as Getafe started to make their presence felt. Real Madrid’s frontmen Benzema and Ronaldo were kept quiet until the final third of the game, in which Getafe’s impressive defensive display seemed to weaken as they tired from the constant pressure.

With fifteen minutes left, current world player of the year Ronaldo somehow failed to convert a golden opportunity from three years out, skewing his half volley the wrong side of the post.

However, this almost seemed to propel him back into the game, and with five minutes remaining, the Portuguese captain found the far corner of Guaita’s net with a powerful half-volley to finally open his account for this Primera Division season.

Despite the home side’s impressive resilience, they were unlucky not to come away with a point against a Real Madrid side who looked somewhat lacklustre as their injury crisis continues. Zidane and his players will be delighted with the three points however, and Ronaldo’s late winner could prove vital in the season ahead.

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Arsenal and Liverpool Face Fight From Italian Giants AC Milan for Real Starlet Dani Ceballos

​Premier League sides Arsenal and Liverpool will go head-to-head with AC Milan when the transfer window re-opens this January for Real Madrid midfielder Dani Ceballos. 

According to talkSPORT, the Rossoneri lead the way in their pursuit of the Spanish playmaker, although both Arsenal and Liverpool remain interested and would be keen to obtain the signature of the Spanish U21 star. 

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Ceballos had quite the summer this year. Despite finishing as the runners up for Spain in the recent UEFA U21 European Championships to Germany, he shone for his nation, finishing as the Player of the Tournament and being named in the Team of the Tournament as well.

He then made the transfer to Real Madrid from Real Betis for a fee of €18m, although he has seen a lack of pitch time for Los Blancos. 

Making only three appearances in all competitions for Zinedine Zidane’s side this season, Ceballos is desparate for regular football, although getting ahead of the likes of Luka Modric, Toni Kroos, Isco and Marco Asensio presents the challenge he has in front of him.

It is the opportunity of first team football that AC Milan believe can persuade Real Madrid to part ways with the 21-year-old, although they face stiff competition from Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool in securing the promising Spaniard

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Zinedine Zidane to Set Club Landmark as Real Madrid Boss as Los Blancos Face Off With Getafe

​Since Zinedine Zidane’s appointment as Real Madrid manager back in January 2016, Los Blancos have achieved milestone after milestone both domestically and in Europe. 

Saturday afternoon sees Madrid take on Getafe at Coliseum Alfonso Perez with Zidane set to complete his 100th game in charge of Los Blancos. 

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The Frenchman’s success at the Bernabeu has seen the team win two consecutive Champions Leagues, a La Liga title, a Club World Cup, two UEFA Super Cups and a Supercopa de España. 

His most recent title win was the UEFA Super Cup against Manchester United back in August, which, at the time, saw Zidane win as many titles as the number of games Real Madrid lost under his management. 

This type of consistency in his success is the reason why Florentino Perez entrusted Zidane with the Real Madrid side over Rafael Benitez, who was sacked in 2016. 

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Zidane’s faith in players such as Casemiro, Isco and starlet Marco Asensio is the reason behind the team’s in the last couple of years.

Though Real Madrid has had a rough start to the new season with two draws and a loss which sees them at 5th place in the La Liga table, there is no doubt that Zidane is willing to take the challenge and adapt his tactical genius to Los Blancos’ abilities. 

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Picking the Best Potential Real Madrid Lineup to Face Getafe on Saturday

​Injury-stricken Real Madrid travel to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez to face city rivals Getafe on Saturday. 

Zinedine Zidane is restricted on his choice of players, with some key men from all areas of the pitch out due to injury. 

Here is how Los Blancos are expected to lineup for the tie.

Goalkeeper

  • K. Casilla

    K. Casilla13

​With starting keeper Keylor Navas out due to an injury sustained while on International duty, Spaniard Kiko Casilla will be taking his place for this match, and possibly the midweek Champions League bout with Spurs. 

Defence

  • Achraf

    Achraf19

  • S. Ramos

    S. Ramos4

  • Varane

    Varane5

  • Nacho

    Nacho6

​The centre-back partnership of Sergio Ramos and Rafael Varane has been a consistent aspect of Real Madrid’s defence this season. 

However, it surfaced last week that right-back Dani Carvajal is out of action indefinitely due to a viral infection of the heart. So 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi could return to the full-back position along with Nacho Fernandez, who has been moved to left-back in the absence of Marcelo and Theo Hernandez. 

Midfield

  • Modric

    Modric10

  • Casemiro

    Casemiro14

  • Ceballos

    Ceballos24

​International duty has done it’s fair share of damage to the Real Madrid squad. German midfielder Toni Kroos is out with a bruised rib that he sustained pre-international break, but the injury only worsened when Germany played Northern Ireland last week. Because of this, we may see the inclusion of Dani Ceballos in central midfield, who is not a bad backup admittedly.

Modric is guaranteed a place in the midfield, and Brazilian defensive midfielder Casemiro continues to impress from his performances last season and leading into the start of this season. 

Forwards

  • Isco

    Isco22

  • Ronaldo

    Ronaldo7

  • Asensio

    Asensio20

​With Gareth Bale injured and Karim Benzema fallen out of favour with boss Zidane, Cristiano Ronaldo has taken the role of leading the line for Real Madrid. 

However there is still depth within the attack, as Isco and Asensio resume their positions in the squad to play either side of the Portuguese talisman. This sort of opportunity is just the kind that 21-year-old Asensio needs to assert himself as one of Real Madrid’s best forward options.  

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Getafe vs Real Madrid Preview: Previous Encounter, Key Men, Team News & More

Getafe host Real Madrid on Saturday as La Liga returns following the international break.

After finishing third and gaining promotion from the Segunda Division last season, Getafe have gotten off to a very lively start back in the Spanish top flight. They currently sit 12th in the table with 8 points, and have already picked up respectable draws against Athletic Bilbao and Celta Vigo, but most notable is their 4-0 demolition of Villarreal.

Meanwhile, Los Blancos have had a stuttering start to La Liga, with poor results and injuries placing them 5th in the league with 14 points. This leaves them quite a distance off leaders and rivals Barcelona, who have had the perfect start with 7 wins out of 7. 


Last Encounter

The last time this fixture played out was in the 2015/16 season, where Real Madrid travelled to Getafe on April 16th and left with a resounding victory. 

Karim Benzema fired Real Madrid into the lead in the 29th minute and Isco doubled the lead eleven minutes later. Soon after the restart, Gareth Bale added a third; and the game quietened down until a surge forward from Getafe to try and get something out of the match resulted in a Pablo Sarabia goal in the 83rd minute. 

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It didn’t take long for Madrid to move up the gears to guarantee no comeback was on the cards, as James Rodriguez scored in the 87th minute and none other than Cristiano Ronaldo dispatching the fifth. 

With that, the hopes of the Getafe fans diminished – as did their chances of survival. Meanwhile Real Madrid could keep the pace on league leaders Barcelona in what was a tightly contested title race.  


Key Men

Getafe’s main man this season has been Angel Rodriguez, who is the team’s top scorer with 3 goals this season. The Spaniard has scored with every shot on target that he’s had this season, and is averaging 65 minutes per goal scored. 

A key partnership of this team is the centre-back pairing of Cala and Ortega, who have started together most games this season to relative success. 

Getafe v Barcelona - La Liga

Cristiano Ronaldo hasn’t had the same impact that he normally has in La Liga, and the Portuguese forward is still yet to get off the mark for Real Madrid in the league this season. 

Instead, young winger Marco Asensio has been the main outlet for goals this season, grabbing 2 goals from the left wing position. Also, being without Toni Kroos will mean Luka Modric will have to use his experience to turn midfield possession into an attack, as well as getting back to do defensive duties. 


Team News

Getafe haven’t had any injuries sustained over the international break so will likely line up as they did in their last La Liga fixture in their preferred 4-4-2 formation. 
Real Madrid haven’t been as fortunate. While Theo Hernandez and Karim Benzema back in training after injuries, Toni Kroos is out with a bruised rib that worsened in the first of Germany’s qualifiers in the past week. Keylor Navas also took a knock to the shoulder for Costa Rica on international duty.
Left back Marcelo is coming back to training but hasn’t fully recovered from his injury, and Dani Carvajal is absent.

Likely Lineups
Getafe (4-4-2): Gaita; Suarez, Ortega, Cala, Antunes; Jiminez, Markel, Arambarri, Diedhiou; Angel, Molina
Real Madrid (4-3-3): Casilla; Achraf, Ramos, Varane, Nacho; Modric, Casemiro, Ceballos; Isco, Ronaldo, Asensio

Prediction

This is a must-win game for Real Madrid, without a doubt. As a team that should be showing their league credentials by now, being stuck behind the likes of Valencia and Sevilla isn’t good enough. Despite the injuries that Madrid currently have hindering them, including important players like Bale, Kroos, Marcelo and Navas, they should be breezing through this match without any issue.

Getafe could pose a threat to a routine Madrid performance. Their attacking partnership of Angel and Molina has proven to be effective for them this season, and they could cause some difficulties for the makeshift Madrid defence, especially 18-year-old Achraf Hakimi – who is filling in at right back. But expect the visitors to win.

Getafe 1-3 Real Madrid

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Report Claims Cristiano Ronaldo Tells Friends Messi & Argentina Will Flop at the World Cup

​After Argentina secured qualification to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, it has been reported that Cristiano Ronaldo believes the stuttering South American giants will flop at next summer’s tournament.

The runners-up from the previous World Cup, Argentina, secured their passage to the next edition of the most prestigious tournament, after Lionel Messi notched a hat-trick in a 3-1 win over Ecuador.

Ecuador v Argentina - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

That victory saw Argentina qualify in third place of the CONMEBOL qualification table with a contingent of highly-talented players taking them to the finals of the 2018 World Cup.

However, there are reports from Spain suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo, who has an infamous rivalry with Messi, isn’t convinced that 30-year-old Messi will perform to his glorious best in Russia next summer.

According to Spanish publication ​Diario Gol, Ronaldo allegedly said to friends over dinner: “No matter what Messi has achieved, Argentina is a mediocre team. They have no chance of winning the World Cup”.

Ecuador v Argentina - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifiers

However, Messi has laughed off claims that his Argentina side doesn’t deserve to qualify for the World Cup, saying: “We deserve to be there after what we have gone through during qualifying.

“We did not deserve to miss out and our place at the tournament is merited.

It was important for us that everything went well and when everybody is together in the same direction, it is a lot easier for us.”


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International Veterans: 9 of the Most Capped Players Currently Playing in Europe’s Top Leagues

As the international break comes to a close, why not take a look at some of the players currently plying their trade in Europe’s top divisions who have been capped a monumental amount of times by their nation. 

Most of the players below are still active internationally, meaning they could further enhance their appearance record for their countries and cement their status as a national hero. 

9. Lionel Messi – FC Barcelona & Argentina

Caps: 122

The four time Ballon d’Or winner has amassed 122 caps for La Albiceleste since making his debut way back in 2005, and is also his country’s record scorer in that time with 61 goals.

He failed to score against Peru last Friday, but single handedly took his country to the World Cup with a scintillating hat-trick against Ecuador on Tuesday night. 

It speaks volumes of Messi’s importance to the national team that the Barcelona maestro is the only player to score a competitive goal for Argentina in the last 11 months, and the population of the south American nation will hope he can carry them just as effectively in Russia next summer. 

8. Andres Iniesta – FC Barcelona & Spain

Caps:121

The 33-year-old playmaker has been an exceptional servant for club and country since coming through La Masia, debuting for the club at just 18 and making his international debut aged 22.

Iniesta has earned 121 caps for La Furia Roja, famously scoring the World Cup winning goal against the Netherlands after extra time in 2010, but has been unable to add to his extraordinary cap tally this international break as he has been suffering with injury.  

7. Petr Cech – Arsenal & Czech Republic

Caps: 124

The Arsenal stopper is the most capped player in his country’s history with 124 appearances for the Czech Republic national team, although he announced his retirement from international football back in 2016. 

The 35-year-old has won the Czech Football of the Year award nine times and is arguably the most famous player to ever come out of his nation, whilst also winning numerous titles whilst at Chelsea and Arsenal. 

6. Wesley Sneijder – OG Nice & Holland

Caps: 132

Sneijder is one of the most famous players to ever play for the Netherlands, and currently sits on 132 caps for the senior team, scoring 31 goals for his country. 

The 33-year-old is still internationally active, and is perhaps the player with the most experience and pedigree in a youthful Dutch side having been shortlisted for the FIFA Ballon d’Or award in 2010, although he failed to inspire his country to World Cup qualification. 

He is currently the record cap holder for the Netherlands, surpassing Edwin van der Sar’s record that stood for 4,002 days. 

5. Javier Mascherano – FC Barcelona & Argentina

Caps: 139 

The 33-year-old has made 139 appearances for Argentina since debuting back in 2001, scoring a grand total of three goals as his versatility saw him operate at centre back and defensive midfield for his country. 

Mascherano started last Friday night’s game against Peru, adding further to his many caps for La Albiceleste, and played a key role as Argentina beat Ecuador 3-1 to secure their place in Russia, although he surprisingly failed to add to his vast goals… 

4. Sergio Ramos – Real Madrid & Spain

Caps: 147

The Sevilla academy graduate has become one of the best defenders in history for both club and country since debuting for the Spanish side in 2004. 

Ramos has already amassed a staggering 147 caps for La Furia Roja since debuting at just 18-years-old, and at just 31 years of age he is certain to further extend that tally. 

His impressive goalscoring exploits have seen him score 11 goals for his country, whilst notching a further 72 in his club career.  

3. Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid & Portugal

Caps: 147

The 32-year-old has become his country’s all time top scorer with 79 goals, and in the process overcoming Pele to become the joint fifth top international scorer in history. 

Ronaldo led his country to EURO 2016 glory to secure his first international success, and will surely extend his record to unreachable numbers during the remainder of his career.  

2. Iker Casillas – FC Porto & Spain

Caps: 167

Spain’s all time record cap holder was a key figure in arguably his country’s golden period, holding down the number one spot over the course of La Furia Roja’s EURO 2008, World Cup 2010 and EURO 2012 successes. 

Casillas won the Golden Glove for his efforts in the 2010 World Cup tournament, and one of his saves against South Korea during the 2002 World Cup was voted in the top ten saves of all time by FIFA. 

1. Gianluigi Buffon – Juventus & Italy

Caps: 173

The Italy and Juventus legend is still active both internationally and at club level at the age of 39, and will undoubtedly make his cap record for the Italian national team unreachable when he eventually retires. 

Buffon is the second most appeared captain for Italy with 77 caps since earning the armband in 2008, and was instrumental in his country’s 2006 World Cup victory beating France in the final, setting a World Cup record in the process by keeping five clean sheet and conceding just two goals in seven games. 

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5 Players Who Moved to Rival Teams as Mesut Ozil Is Linked With Manchester United Switch

Mesut Özil’s time at Arsenal looks likely to come to a turbulent end, as the German is no nearer to signing a new contract at the Emirates. And something that will make his departure even more bitter to Gunners fans is that a reunion with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United could be on the cards. 

Özil played under Mourinho at Real Madrid, where the Portuguese manager compared him with Zinedine Zidane because of his creative abilities. The German is also apparently interested in a move back to Madrid, or to their fierce rivals Barcelona, as he looks to leave the Gunners in search for silverware. 

And with the 28-year-old interested in a switch to Old Trafford, here’s a look at the top five players to transfer to rival clubs.

1. Sol Campbell

Sol Campbell’s decision to move from Tottenham to Arsenal wasn’t exactly met with cheers from those at White Hart Lane. The former England centre-half was adored by the Tottenham faithful, but he was searching for a new challenge and the chance of competing in the Champions League, which most Spurs fans could understand. But for the defender to move to bitter rivals Arsenal, and for free, was unforgivable. 

Campbell unsurprisingly received a horrendous reception and developed a new nickname at White Hart Lane – Judas. 

Campbell won two Premier League titles, three FA Cups and appeared in a Champions League final, justifying his decision to stay in North London. Clinching the Premier League title in 2004 at Spurs didn’t exactly silence the boo boys, however. 

2. Luis Figo

Arguably one of the greatest of all-time, Luis Figo also has another nickname by many in Catalonia – traitor. His transfer to Real Madrid was made even worse by the fact he was beloved by all at Barcelona, winning two La Liga titles and two Copa del Rey’s during his time at the Nou Camp. 

Figo went on to enjoy similar success at the Bernabeu, including earning a Champions League medal in 2002. However, when Figo returned to the Nou Camp, he was subject to all kinds of abuse – including having a pig’s head thrown at him. 

3. Ashley Cole

‘Cashley’ Cole – Arsenal’s former left back. 

Cole performed many u-turns during a series of tapping-up meetings and big money offers to eventually end up at Chelsea – a move that turned out to be the best for him in terms of silverware. The full-back signed a contract extension at Highbury before switching to Chelsea soon after, claiming he was insulted by the low amount Arsenal had offered him. 

And despite Cole having the cheek to claim he had forgiven Arsenal for “hanging him out to dry”, Gunners fans are far from forgiving. 

4. Carlos Tevez

Carlos Tevez has dragged drama with him wherever he’s been, so there’s no surprise he decided to switch from Old Trafford to the Etihad. The Argentine was adored at United for his hard-working experience and contribution, helping his side win two Premier League titles and one Champions League during his two years at Old Trafford. 

However, a switch to City was controversial from the start, with the club erecting a blue ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard with Tevez the main feature, causing a stir amongst the rivals. In hindsight, the Red Devils will be glad he was no longer on their books, as Tevez created unrest within the City dressing room, refusing to come on as a substitute in their away tie against Bayern Munich in the Champions League. 

5. Emmanuel Adebayor

Emmanuel Adebayor will be remembered for a wonder-strike against Spurs during a 3-1 win at White Hart Lane and, rather less favourably for Arsenal fans, his pitch-long sprint to celebrate in front of the Gunners while at Man City. The Togo international made his switch to City, where he enjoyed a fine two-years at the Etihad. 

However, if he wasn’t already dead to Arsenal fans, his switch to Spurs to 2011 would be the final nail in the coffin. He went on to make 92 appearances in four years at White Hart Lane, although he failed to win any honours with either London side. 

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