Tim Sherwood believes that Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino will take the Europa League seriously this season.
Spurs have qualified for the last 32 with relative ease and are expected to go far in the competition.
The winners of the Europa League this season also stand a chance of qualifying for the 2015-16 Champions League campaign.
With Tottenham not doing so well in the Premier League and a top-four finish far from certain, the Europa League could prove to be their salvation.
“On occasions at Spurs, Ramos would prioritise Ledley King, who could only manage a game a week, for the Europa League over the Premier League,” Sherwood wrote in The Independent.
“He did that because he saw the Europa League as something Tottenham could win and he had experienced what a European trophy had done for a club.
“It will be no different now. I am sure that Mauricio Pochettino will want to win it, so too Roberto Martinez at Everton. And if Brendan Rodgers did so with Liverpool it would solve a lot of his problems.
“There is now the added incentive of a place in the Champions League next season for the winners of the Europa League, but even before that there was no shortage of reasons to try to go for it.”
One suspects that Pochettino will be keen on winning the Europa League with Tottenham, but he is unlikely to make it his top priority, not yet anyway.
Given that the competition is now in its knockout stage, a single mistake could be enough to see Spurs crash out.
Banking on winning the Europa League to feature in next season’s Champions League would be a gamble that Pochettino is unlikely to take.
What is important now for Tottenham is to improve their league position. The North London outfit are currently six points behind fourth-placed West Ham United and are very much in with a chance of finishing in the top four.