Andre Villas-Boas says Aaron Lennon has been a stand-out performer for Tottenham so far this season as he prepares to welcome the winger back for Spurs' showdown against Wigan tomorrow.
Lennon has been absent since picking up a knee injury against Basel in the Europa League earlier this month, but has returned to training ahead of the north London club's game at the DW Stadium tomorrow.
Fellow winger Gareth Bale has earned much of the praise this season thanks to his impressive goal tally, but Villas-Boas insists Lennon, enjoying a fine season himself, is just as crucial to Tottenham as the Welshman.
"He has had a wonderful year," said Villas-Boas.
"He has scored in some wonderful games, is a player that helps offensively and defensively, he has great responsibility and he has had a couple of games as a captain which is also important for him.
"He has been great throughout despite a couple of injuries."
Lennon appears to have thrived since the arrival of Villas-Boas in the summer, and has so far laid on seven assists for his team-mates.
Villas-Boas believes the England international has taken his game to the next level, and is now a more complete player.
"I think he has developed his game," the 35-year-old said.
"He has developed his diagonal balls, his passing, his crossing, and we've seen him finishing situations more often this season. That comes through training."
Victory for Spurs on Saturday would move them up to 3rd place in the Premier League, with top-four rivals Chelsea and Arsenal not in action until Sunday.
Having secured a moral-boosting 3-1 win over Manchester City last weekend, Villas-Boas believes his side can carry confidence over from the victory at White Hart Lane into their remaining five fixtures, starting with Wigan.
"We fought very, very hard against City. It was a game we needed to win to keep us in the battle," he said.
"It gave us a tremendous boost of confidence. To transfer it to the Wigan game is our objective.
"The opponent is completely different, they are involved in a different battle and only if we are able to transfer that motivation will we be able to get the three points.
"I think probably out of these remaining games the Wigan game could be the decisive factor for our run in."
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