Tottenham complete Bassong transfer

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The Independent Online

Tottenham last night bolstered their defence with the signing of Sebastien Bassong from Newcastle.

The 23-year-old is, however, suspended for the first two games of the new season following his sending-off against Fulham at the end of last term.

A statement on www.tottenhamhotspur.com read: "We are delighted to announce that we have reached agreement with Newcastle United for the transfer of Sebastien Bassong to the club, following the player successfully completing a medical examination and agreeing personal terms."

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp had been keen to bring in reinforcements at the back, with Michael Dawson set to miss the start of the new season through injury and Ledley King and Jonathan Woodgate also doubtful.

"Jonathan Woodgate is struggling and I think he may have to have an operation," Redknapp said earlier this week.

"I think he may have to have another hernia operation. He had one at the end of last season but obviously it has not worked so he may have to go back in again.

"I don't see (Michael Dawson) or Woody being fit for the start of the season.

"We are still looking to improve the squad. If I can still get one or two in to make us strong and if we can do that then it will be good."

Redknapp admitted his admiration of Bassong during his team's pre-season trip to China, saying: "I like Bassong, he is a young player with a good future and a good central defender."

The Frenchman, who is also qualified to play for Cameroon, moved to St James' Park in July 2008 from Metz and made 34 appearances for the Magpies in his debut campaign in England.

He becomes the fourth summer signing for Redknapp following the acquisitions of Peter Crouch from Portsmouth and Kyle Naughton and Kyle Walker from Sheffield United.

Crouch yesterday admitted he has taken a gamble with his England career by moving to north London.

The 28-year-old was an automatic choice at Fratton Park but, as Darren Bent found, there is now stiff competition for the striking places at Spurs in the shape of Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane and Roman Pavlyuchenko.

"Of course it's a gamble, but what can you do?" said Crouch as he sat alongside Harry Redknapp, the man who will be managing him for a third time.

"I am ambitious, I want to improve myself and I want to be part of a team that I think can achieve things.

"It's going to be difficult to break into the top four, but if anyone has the potential, this club does. Harry has a great deal of belief in me and I hope I can repay him."

Asked if it worried him that England boss Fabio Capello might not look kindly on him being in and out of the Tottenham side, Crouch said: "No. I have confidence in my own ability and that, when given the opportunities, I will take them.

"Although I could have gone somewhere and been first choice regardless of how you are playing, to keep you on your toes and improve you as a player you have to have competition and I am going to work hard and earn the shirt as much as anyone else."

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