Spurs new boy Sandro Ranieri looks set to make his debut in English football in the North London derby against Arsenal in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. Sandro is a new arrival at White Hart Lane, having signed from Brazilian side Internacional over summer, and has now moved to England after winning the Copa Libertadores with his former club. He comes highly-rated from Brazil, having made his international debut last year, and is rumoured to have cost Spurs in excess of £14million. Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s match, Harry Redknapp said:
“He’s just come from a tough season in Brazil where Internacional won the championship. He’s a 6ft 2in tall central midfield player, he’s in the Brazilian squad, he’s only 21 and a boy still – but you don’t get too many bad players breaking into the Brazil national squad so it’s a good chance to see him play now.”
Redknapp has also stated that he’ll be giving a debut to loan-signing Stipe Pletikosa, who was brought in from Spartak Moscow as cover for Heurelho Gomes, currently injured, and Carlo Cudicini.
It’s quite the sign of the times, really, for Spurs fans. A competition that once represented some realistic domestic success (they last won it in 2008) is now an opportunity to blood the younger players, with their first Champions League campaign taking priority. It’s something that Redknapp has recognised as part and parcel of competing on a number of fronts:
“I can’t keep using the same players. I am going to protect some of them. There will be lots of changes. Arsene Wenger’s done it over the years and played the youngsters even in cup semi-finals. You’ve got to do what’s right for the team.”
In this case, it may not be quite the full-blooded derby you’d expect from the equivalent league game. But it’s a good opportunity for fans of both sides to see what their clubs have waiting in the ranks. Certainly, Sandro’s inclusion will be intriguing at the very least.
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