Can Samba Star Sandro Emulate Tottenham Legends Ardiles and Villa?

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Can Samba Star Sandro Emulate Tottenham Legends Ardiles and Villa?

21 year-old Internacional and Brazil midfielder Sandro Ranieri Guimaraes Cordeiro will join Tottenham Hotspur in a £6 million transfer following the completion of this year's Copa Libertadores on 18 August.

The promising defensive midfielder was scouted by Spurs manager Harry Redknapp for months and will join up with his new teammates as soon as he agrees to contract terms and is cleared for a visa.

Despite Tottenham having failed to sign Diego, now a world-class attacking midfielder with Juventus, in 2003, due to the then-18-year-old not having played enough games at the international level, it is thought that Sandro's transfer will be signed off, as the laws seem to have relaxed since then.

The move follows on from the announcement of a "strategic partnership" between the two clubs last autumn, which would see players and coaching methodologies exchanged.

It is the fourth such collaboration that Tottenham has instigated in the last four years, following those with MLS team San Jose Earthquakes, South Africa's Supersport United, and South China.

Harry Redknapp expressed his delight to the Telegraph back in March thus: ''He is strong and looks a very, very good player so I am looking forward to getting him here.'' Redknapp also underlined that the player has international experience and captained three Brazil youth teams.

It is hoped that once Sandro has settled into his new surroundings, he can compete with Honduran Wilson Palacios for a slot in midfield alongside Croatian play-maker Luka Modric.

Nevertheless, Sandro is cautious about his move and wary of the past failings of most South American players who have played in the Premier League. He was quoted by News of the World as saying: "I know I will suffer and I'm going to have some difficulties when I move to London but I want to be prepared for that moment. I'm going to fight and stay in Europe.''

In contrast to the likes of Juan Pablo Angel, Kleberson, and Robinho, Sandro has the physical attributes to hit the ground running. As well as standing six foot two inches tall, he is strong in the tackle and has excellent stamina.

In fact, the youngster can take heart from the successes of Heurelho Gomes and Carlos Tevez in England, both of whom have proven that with a strong mentality and hard work, it is possible to overcome the language barrier, inclement weather, and often abrasive playing style.

Certainly, it is a bold move by Harry Redknapp, who thus far has brought in, tried, and trusted ex-Portsmouth and Tottenham players such as Peter Crouch, Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, and Niko Kranjcar to propel the club into the Champions League.

But unlike the flawed transfer deal which brought Japanese flop Kazuyuki Toda to the club, Sandro's arrival at White Hart Lane is no cynical attempt by Spurs to gain exposure in markets with high potential for growth and revenue. Daniel Levy is a sharp businessman who is always keen to add value to the club, but Redknapp rules the transfer roost.

Unlike the situations which saw promising internationals like Sergei Rebrov and Giovani Dos Santos left out in the cold, there is real continuity and stability at the club. The turnover of players in the last two seasons is modest in comparison to what preceded.

If Sandro can adapt relatively quickly to his new surroundings and show some courage and determination, he will quickly win over the fans at White Hart Lane.

After all, they still retain very fond memories of Argentine duo Ossie Ardiles and Ricky Villa leading the club to F.A. Cup glory in 1981. The club has since inducted both into their Hall of Fame.

And despite Dos Santos' travails in England, Honduran Wilson Palacios and Brazilian goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes have become fan favourites for their passion and commitment to the club.

In light of these successes, Harry Redknapp is also thought to be considering a move for either Uruguay's former Manchester United striker Diego Forlan, or Brazilian first-choice forward Luis Fabiano, who has excelled in his time at Sevilla.

While a strong English core (which could yet see six Spurs players represent England in South Africa this summer—manager Fabio Capello is still concerned by Gareth Barry's fitness in midfield), will be paramount to future success in N17, it seems that Tottenham is increasingly looking to Brazil, birthplace of some of the greatest footballers ever produced, in its bid for Premier League glory. 

Might we soon see Tottenham's motto 'Audere Est Facere' replaced with Nike's Brazilian-inspired 'Joga Bonito!'?

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