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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Redknapp could make Gallas Spurs skipper

Harry Redknapp is considering risking the wrath of some Tottenham fans by making William Gallas captain at West Brom on Saturday.

• Defoe out for three months

Redknapp ignored the critics last month by signing Gallas on a free transfer following the defender's release by Arsenal. And so impressed has Spurs boss Redknapp been by the 33-year-old, he is thinking about handing him the armband on what would also be the former Gunners skipper's debut.

"I have been very impressed with him as a fella,'' Redknapp said ahead of Saturday's Premier League clash. "He could easily become a mainstay. I am even considering making him captain on Saturday. Thinking about it.''

Redknapp is ready to rest skipper Ledley King ahead of Tuesday's Champions League Group A opener at Werder Bremen to protect the defender's notoriously fragile knees.

Redknapp said: "Both competitions are important to me but we might just need Ledley's experience on Tuesday night in an away game in Germany in a Champions League game. If he plays Tuesday, he has got an extra day and I might get him for Tuesday and the following Saturday. It is a juggling act.''

The sight of Gallas wearing the armband so soon after defecting from Spurs' arch rivals may be too much to take for some supporters. But Redknapp reckons Gallas has proven he has mental strength simply by agreeing to move to White Hart Lane.

"You have to be strong as a person to do that - it is easy not to have done that,'' he said. "He could have gone off and played somewhere else.''

Redknapp believes a player of Gallas' calibre would have cost up to £10million on the open market.

"If you want a player who is a top centre-half to play in the Premier League, you have to play that money, surely,'' he said. "I think he will be a great signing for us. For me, he is a no-brainer. He cost nothing. He is not on silly money.''

Rafael van der Vaart could also make his debut tomorrow and Redknapp must decide whether to play him instead of or alongside Luka Modric, perhaps by fielding only one striker.

He said of Van der Vaart: "He can play in behind one striker, two strikers, if you want to play that way, or if you want to play a diamond. He can come off the wide areas.''

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