Former Wales and Tottenham defender Mel Hopkins passed away yesterday aged 75 after a long illness. Hopkins played for the North Londoners for 12 years between 1952 and 1964 and he made 240 appearances for the club. A statement on the Spurs official website described him as ‘one of the best full-backs in the country’. He won 34 caps for his country and was also part of the Welsh side which made it to the 1958 World Cup quarter-finals.
Inter match team news.
Spurs will be without Ledley King and Rafael van der Vaart for the Champions League clash with Inter Milan at the San Siro tonight. King has a groin strain which he sustained against Fulham at the weekend whilst van der Vaart is suspended. According to Spursnetwork.com, Sebastien Bassong is likely to partner William Gallas in defence but Robbie Keane will have to start the game against his former club on the substitutes bench. For Inter, Diego Milito is out after being injured on international duty whilst Thiago Motta and Jonathan Biabiany are both doubtful.
Defoe has return in sight.
Goal.com reports that Jermain Defoe could be set to return from injury earlier than expected. The striker was originally ruled out for three months after he underwent surgery on ankle ligament damage sustained during England’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Switzerland. However, he has made impressive progress and is now targeting a return within a month. Defoe has reportedly targeted the home clash against Blackburn Rovers on November 13th for his return.
Redknapp: Two players from the title.
IMScouting reports that Harry Redknapp believes his side are just one or two players away from being genuine title contenders. The Spurs boss paid tribute to his players and also stated that the fact they are facing Champions League holders Inter Milan tonight is a reflection of how far they have come over the last few seasons. He declared: “I think Tottenham may be one or two big signings away from being a team that could win the championship. One or two players in the right positions – and I’m talking about two top, top players in the right positions. If we could go and do that I think Tottenham are a team that could win the championship in a couple of years. This squad is just so full of talent anyway, players who have made their mark and (chairman) Daniel Levy has done a great job backing my judgment and improving the squad and the club, that I really believe we’re not far away from that level. We’ve got a lot of players here who could play for any club.”
Spurs in for Benzema.
Speculation is rife as to who these one or two players could be and the Daily Mail suggests that Karim Benzema and Bolton’s Gary Cahill are Redknapp’s top targets. The Real Madrid striker has been heavily linked with Spurs but they could now face strong competition from Manchester United if Wayne Rooney leaves in January. Redknapp is also keen to sign a new centre-back and has been monitoring 24-year-old Cahill who recently made his England debut whilst Stuttgart’s Serdar Tasci is also on his radar. The 23-year-old German centre-back has already won 13 international caps and Arsenal are believed to be also keeping tabs.
According to Betfair football Harry Redknapp is ready to make a move for 16-year-old Mateo Kovacic who has been dubbed the ‘Croatian Messi’. The youngster is about to sign his first professional contract with Dynamo Zagreb and this includes a £10m buyout clause to deter interest from other clubs. Kovacic has also caught the eye of a number of German teams.