What does Younes Kaboul bring to Tottenham?

What can Younes Kaboul bring to Tottenham Hotspur upon his return from injury?

The 27-year-old Frenchman has been sidelined since just the second game of the season with a knee injury and Spurs have sorely missed his presence in the heart of their defence.

Fortunately for the North Londoners, they have had the impressive Jan Vertonghen instilled into their defence, a summer signing from Ajax, but the loss of Kaboul has undoubtedly been a bitter blow.

He originally joined Tottenham in 2007, but stayed for just a season before moving onto Portsmouth. Since his return in 2009-10, for £9.5m – when he played a key role in Tottenham getting into the Champions League – he has shown the true player that he is.

His power, determination and commitment on the football field has resulted in the Moroccan-turned-Frenchman becoming a crowd favourite at White Hart Lane and he has earned himself a reputation as a fine defender, even entering the France set-up.

Another attribute to Kaboul’s game which many fail to appreciate is his pace.

It was revealed recently that he was the quickest player in the Spurs squad over a distance of 100m – and remember that said squad includes numerous speed merchants, such as Gareth Bale, Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker.

As the game depends more and more upon pace and agility – just look at Spurs’ attack, and many other top Premier League attacks – this is an absolutely vital attribute for a defender to possess.

But Kaboul isn’t just about power and pace. He is also very intelligent, capable at choosing the right times to either get forward or stay back, or try a creative through-ball or simply knock it to a fellow defender.

It is also this intelligence that leads to his goal-scoring threat; he is dominant in each penalty area but he can also appreciate when he should get forward and try a long shot, or whether it is necessary to provide defensive cover.

Whilst Kaboul is a natural defender, the above attributes point towards a potentially different role for Spurs in the ultimate few weeks of the season; as a defensive midfielder.

Scott Parker hasn’t covered himself in glory since his return from injury in December and tenacious Brazilian Sandro is injured: Kaboul could well be called upon to provide an anchor in midfield. It would allow Belgian Mousa Dembele to try his luck further up the pitch.

But wherever Younes Kaboul does play, he will be critical in Tottenham’s run-in; providing a natural leader on the pitch, and some extra strength-in-depth for the Spurs squad.

Do you agree Kaboul can be a difference-maker for Tottenham?

image: © wonker

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