Tottenham defender Younes Kaboul’s contract will expire at the end of the season, and the north London club face a tricky decision as to whether to keep the Frenchman on their books.
Kaboul has spent six turbulent years at White Hart Lane since signing from Auxerre in 2007, barring a short spell he enjoyed at Portsmouth under Harry Redknapp before returning to Spurs. He is one of the few remaining faces from the Martin Jol era, and his aggressive style has made him a firm favourite with fans. Spurs turned down an offer from Anzhi Makhachkala for the defender last winter.
His rapport with the Tottenham faithful was only too clear on his return to action from a lengthy lay-off in their pre-season friendly against Espanyol. Such injuries, however have blighted his last two seasons, and he will certainly find himself further down the pecking order, having to compete with Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson and Vlas Chiriches at centre-back.
And yet, even if he is resigned to the bench, Kaboul is undoubtedly a valuable asset and worth hanging on to. An aggressive defender, the Frenchman is a good header of the ball at both ends of the pitch and contributes goals. Perhaps his finest moment in a Tottenham shirt came in their 125th anniversary match against Aston Villa back in 2007, where he netted the equaliser in injury time after Spurs were 4-1 down.
As Spurs strive for the lofty heights of the Champions League, Kaboul is one of a core of remaining players who will remember the feeling of being bottom of the Premier League, amassing a grand total of two points from eight games under Juande Ramos. He is one of the original gang, and Spurs will do well to remember where they have come from with players like Kaboul.
Spurs keeper Hugo Lloris has enjoyed a solid start to the season yet again, but will benefit from a fellow Frenchman standing 20 yards in front of him.
Letting Kaboul’s contract dwindle away and seeing him leave for nothing would be an unforgivable waste. There is, of course, the option of allowing him to leave for a reduced price in January, and there would no doubt be plenty of takers.
Should Spurs find themselves in an injury crisis, though – a very real possibility while they are competing on four fronts – Kaboul will get games. Andre Villas-Boas has promised to rotate his squad while they continue to participate in the Europa League, and in truth, Tottenham would struggle to find a defender willing to play second fiddle that could compete with Kaboul.
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