Tottenham hand shooting star Andros Townsend a four-year deal


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The Independent Football

Andros Townsend last night signed a new four-year deal with Tottenham Hotspur. The 22-year-old winger has been one of the stars of the season so far, starting six of Spurs’ seven Premier League games, at the expense of new signing Erik Lamela, and making his spectacular England bow last week, scoring on his international debut against Montenegro.

Tottenham have quickly moved to recognise Townsend’s rapid development, announcing last night that they were “delighted” to have tied him to a new four-year deal.

Their manager, Andre Villas-Boas, had earlier praised his progress over the last few months. “It is wonderful for him, the explosion he has had recently in the Premier League and for his country,” Villas-Boas said. “He has been doing extremely well for club and country, and he deserves that credibility. He is a home-grown product so we are very proud of what he has done.”

Villas-Boas also warned Townsend he can expect the same sort of media scrutiny Jack Wilshere faces now he is part of the England team. Arsenal midfielder Wilshere spent most of last week in the public eye, first for smoking a cigarette and then over his views on who should qualify fto play or England. Townsend, who started both England’s recent World Cup qualifiers, was told by his manager that he should be prepared for the same exposure, and will have to be increasingly aware to deal with it.

“For me it is no problem,” said Villas-Boas. “Obviously, when you get public and media recognition you have to tolerate it. He has to step up his game. I suppose Jack Wilshere falls into that category. He is a great product of English football.”

Villas-Boas acknowledged that players have to behave well even if sometimes they are unfairly targeted. “Sometimes they are chased, sometimes a victim and sometimes guilty. But you have to stay strong with your personality and continue to perform for club and country,” he said.

Townsend has made a glittering start to the season, keeping the Argentine Lamela – a £25.8m purchase from Roma – out of the Tottenham team. Lamela has yet to start a Premier League game.

Villas-Boas was delighted at how Townsend had seized his chance in August, right at the season’s start. “I am impressed with the way he took the opportunity against Dynamo Tbilisi [in the Europa League],” Villas-Boas said.

“To show up at that level of commitment, to make the most of an opportunity, is credit to him. Moments can happen to a player like this at various times in his career. In Arsenal’s case, Tomas Rosicky, the way he showed up and was so decisive for them at the end of last season – and Aaron Ramsey this season.”

There will be even more competition for Townsend for that right-wing berth with Aaron Lennon returning to full training. Etienne Capoue and Danny Rose are also close to a return for Tottenham, while Younès Kaboul is unlikely to be risked for tomorrow’s trip to Aston Villa.