AVB building team of 'world stars'
Andre Villas-Boas says that he expects all of Tottenham Hotspur’s new young signings to become "world stars", and feels that the end of the transfer window is like a “new start” now that he finally has time to work with them properly.
• Fitch: Departing stars
The Spurs boss hailed the potential impact of Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen and Vlad Chiriches but did say that it may not be until October that their best is finally seen.
While Lamela and Eriksen are expected to feature at some stage against Norwich City on Saturday, Chiriches’ work permit is not yet finalised.
"The expectancy is these players will become world stars," Villas-Boas said.
"We have gone past six weeks in pre-season where our starting squad had nothing to do with the way we finished in the transfer window. At the moment every time we have to bond together is essential, to form a team. The players have really stepped up a level in terms of individual quality. It looks like a new start for us.
"It's difficult to think of how much time it's going to take [for the team to jell]. What makes it a little bit easier is the amount of games in September and October, because it's with games that we have the opportunity to put them together and get to know each other. We have five fixtures in September that allow us to have the opportunity to throw them into the pitch and see them develop."
Villas-Boas particularly praised Lamela’s qualities but countenanced that it may take him time to fully display them due to the adaptation required.
"I think the qualities he brings are his creativeness, his ability to find the last pass that leads to a goal. He's a natural talent. He's not a pure winger; he's creative and likes to come inside and find different spaces. He's a player with tremendous potential that we have to work on.
"He's going to suffer problems of adaptation because he doesn't speak a word of English. He has to adapt to a completely different culture and mentality, which we are sure he will, but we're unsure of how much time it will take, but he will.
"He's a wonderful, gifted footballer. The fact he's yet to train with the team puts him in a very difficult position to start the game, but it is not impossible. For somebody so gifted, adapting shouldn't be a problem.
"Lamela just landed in England [on Thursday], so he wasn't involved in training, but they're used to these kind of trips and effort. I expect him to be involved in the game.
"Christian Eriksen is a big possibility, but he's not a certainty yet. We signed three players who trained for the first time with us on Friday, two weeks ago, and they then departed for international duty. We just saw him back today. To have the experience of his team-mates is vital, so that time is something we have to work on.”
As regards Chiriches, Villas-Boas said "the work permit is not finalised yet.
"It's a process that takes a bit more time. He's fit and training and was involved in both games for Romania, but there's a possibility we won't see him involved."