Van der Vaart: We need ‘unbelievable’ Spurs star to stay

12:59 02 April 2012

Rafael van der Vaart

Rafael van der Vaart


Rafael van der Vaart says he is anxious to see his “unbelievable” team-mate Emmanuel Adebayor commit his future to Tottenham.

Van der Vaart struck the opener in yesterday’s 3-1 win over Swansea, but it was Adebayor who scored the winning goals, taking his tally to 13 for the season.

The Togo international is currently on a season-long loan from Manchester City and is due to leave north London at the end of the campaign.

But Van der Vaart says the striker is a key player for Harry Redknapp’s side, and the Dutchman is keen to develop their relationship up front next season.

“I hope he stays – he’s a great player for us, he works his socks off. He’s unbelievable and so positive,” said Van der Vaart.

“We love him here. He’s a top striker – he’s played for Madrid, for Arsenal and Man City and he’s one of the best. When I played with [Ruud] van Nistelrooy he was fantastic and there are others as well.

“Normally strikers are waiting for a chance to score, but even when he doesn’t score he’s still working for the team and that’s made him a big name for us. His attitude is one of the best.

“Last season I had a good understanding with [Peter] Crouch, but with him it’s even better.”

Tottenham’s victory over Brendan Rodgers’ side at White Hart Lane ended a damaging run of five Premier League games without a win following defeats against Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton, and then draws against Stoke and Chelsea.

Spurs’ triumph now leaves them level with Arsenal in the fight for third place, which guarantees automatic qualification for the Champions League – and Van der Vaart says the Lilywhites are now back to their best.

“Swansea are a good team and they’re always difficult to play against because they keep the ball well, so it was a very good win for us,” he said.

“I think we’ve been a bit unlucky – at Chelsea we had a great chance for three points. We were a little bit low on confidence but we showed [on Sunday] that we’re still there.

“We want to be in the top three and there’s a long way to go, but the confidence is back. It’s all about winning games – if you don’t win you’re a little bit nervous and we lost 10 points in two weeks, so it has been hard.

“Now we are level on points with Arsenal and if we play like we did in this game, we have a good chance. We have a few tricky away games, so we have to keep on working and see what happens.

“I think it was important that Arsenal lost at QPR, that helped us, and I hope they’re also getting nervous. Chelsea are also winning again so it’s going to be interesting.

“We want to be in the Champions League next year because last season was a great experience and I think we have the squad to get there.

“We want to be third because in the qualifiers you have some big teams, good teams and you never know.”

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