Spurs boosted as Lennon looks ready for return against United

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The Independent Football

Aaron Lennon has been back in full training at Tottenham Hotspur this week and is a contender to be on the bench in the crucial match against Manchester United at Old Trafford on Saturday.

The England international has not played since 28 December after picking up a groin injury that has failed to heal. However, he has been taking part in training at Spurs this week and – should he not break down again – could play a part in his club's efforts to secure the fourth Champions League place.

Lennon is a vital part of Fabio Capello's plans for the World Cup this summer but was running out of time to prove his fitness ahead of the naming of the provisional 30-man squad on 16 May. The 23-year-old has already suffered one major setback in his efforts to recover but this time the club think he will be ready by the end of the season.

The Spurs manager Harry Redknapp will be delighted with the developments. Yesterday he was also full of praise for Heurelho Gomes and his vital saves against Arsenal and Chelsea in recent matches.

The goalkeeper produced three world-class saves in the space of five minutes against Arsenal to deny Robin van Persie twice and Sol Campbell with the scoreline at 2-0. He was there again at a crucial time against Chelsea on Saturday when he turned away Frank Lampard's shot with the score at 1-0.

Redknapp also praised the work of Gomes' coach, Tony Parks, as the Brazilian has improved over the past 18 months. "He's been outstanding for us and some of the saves against Arsenal were beyond belief," Redknapp said.

"They were vital saves as we were 2-0 up at the time. He had a tough start here but it's a different game to Holland. I watch a lot of Dutch football on TV and you can't compare the pace, the aggression, the crosses coming in – it's a completely different game and it took him time to adjust.

"I always knew he had the ability. I spoke to Guus Hiddink and he said he took PSV to a championship and Champions League semi-final almost single-handed, he was that good."