Chiriches can show Tottenham his worth against Northern Ireland

Vlad Chiriches

The defender has been the subject of much transfer speculation in the last few days but could silence his Spurs critics when Romania meet Northern Ireland.

Signed by Tottenham Hotspur for €9.5 million from Steaua Bucharest in the summer of 2013, Chiriches failed to endear himself to Spurs fans from the off after his agent Victor Becali revealed plans to use the Lilywhites as a stepping stone to bigger and better things.

“If he has one or two good seasons at Tottenham, Chelsea will be willing to pay a large sum to buy Chiriches,” he said in October of that year.

“[Jose] Mourinho says he has been aware of him since he was at Real Madrid.”

A year on from those comments, however, and Chiriches’ plan for Premier League domination is not faring so well, with the 25-year-old playing a bit-part role for Tottenham this term and now linked with a move away from the club.

Inter Milan are thought to be keen on a deal for the defender, according to the Express, while even Arsenal have been linked with a bid – though the latter of those two rumours should be taken with a generous pinch of salt.

Yet with the Nerazzurri unlikely to be able to match Chiriches’ wage demands, given their current financial predicament, a move to the San Siro still looks some way off, particularly with the club now in turmoil following the sacking of Walter Mazzarri.

Chiriches, meanwhile, has spoken out at the lack of playing time and his frustration at being, so far, unable to hold down a starting spot for Spurs.

"I don’t know anything about the links but right now I can’t say that I am very happy at the club because I am not in the team," he told Sky Sports News in response to the speculation linking him with a move away.

"It’s hard for me but I think I can improve my game and I can play."

All of which makes Romania’s meeting with Northern Ireland an important encounter for the stopper, who has so far excelled for the national side in Euro 2016 qualifying.

Romania have kept two clean sheets from their opening three games, with Chiriches playing an important role in the centre of the defence in all three fixtures.

And with Michael O’Neill’s side also riding high after three wins from three, a solid showing against one of the form sides in qualifying thus far could go some way to reminding Tottenham why they purchased the defender.

Keep a clean sheet and Chiriches could potentially find himself given more of an opportunity to shine at White Hart Lane, but fail to and it could be back to the Europa League and ultimately a move away for the defender.

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