herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Redknapp out to turn around Frenchman's career

TOTTENHAM boss Harry Redknapp will once again try his hand at resurrecting the career of an ageing star after signing 33-year-old striker Louis Saha from Everton last night.

Saha joined the White Hart Lane club just before last night's 11pm deadline in one of the surprise moves of the latest transfer window.

The Frenchman replaces Roman Pavlyuchenko, who has headed for Lokomotiv Moscow for £8million, while Steven Pienaar has returned to Goodison Park for the rest of the season following Saha's exit.

Many have questioned Redknapp's judgement in bringing in an injury-prone striker past his prime, but he has a history of turning players who are supposedly over the hill into good performers.

Redknapp reinvigorated the career of Paolo di Canio at West Ham, managed to get Kanu scoring goals while he was at the twilight of his career at Portsmouth, and has also got the best out of William Gallas since he arrived from Arsenal two summers ago.

Redknapp is confident that he has not taken a gamble by signing Saha.

He said: "He's got good movement, can score goals but needs a change.

Tottenham shipped out Sebastien Bassong on loan to Wolves and were awaiting confirmation this morning that their bid to sign Blackburn's veteran defender Ryan Nelsen to replace him had gone through.

Impact

Nelsen, 34, was out of contract in June and has only played once for Rovers this term, making him an even more surprising choice than Saha.

Redknapp says the Kiwi will have a big impact if the deal goes through.

"He's a great competitor and a good sort to have," Redknapp said after last night's 3-1 win over Wigan.

The arrival of both men is welcome, given that Redknapp saw his injury list increase last night.

Rafael van der Vaart (calf), Kyle Walker (groin) and Emmanuel Adebayor (hamstring) all hobbled off and are doubts for Liverpool on Monday.

Spurs are already without long-term absentees Gallas (calf) and Tom Huddlestone (ankle), while Michael Dawson has only just returned from an Achilles layoff.

The only other bits of business concluded at Spurs yesterday saw Vedran Corluka join Bayer Leverkusen until the end of the season and youngster Adam Smith sign for Leeds on loan.

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