Saha looks a good fit for Tottenham, says Kaboul

Defender hails 11th-hour loan deal for veteran striker after Spurs hit top gear again against Wigan

Younes Kaboul has welcomed Louis Saha to White Hart Lane and is convinced the veteran striker will be a good addition to the Tottenham squad.

Saha completed a six-month move from Everton just before Tuesday's 11pm transfer deadline in one of the surprise deals of the January window. The 33-year-old has scored only twice this season for the Merseyside club and has been blighted by a number of injuries throughout his career.

He has failed, since moving to Goodison Park, to repeat the kind of form which saw him excel at Manchester United and Fulham, but Kaboul thinks Tottenham have landed a good player in his compatriot, who may make his debut against Liverpool at Anfield on Monday.

"Louis is welcome here at Spurs. He's a quality player," said the French defender following Tuesday night's 3-1 Premier League win over Wigan Athletic at White Hart Lane. "I don't know him very well but I just know he's a good lad."

Kaboul put in yet another masterful performance at the heart of the Tottenham defence as a double from Gareth Bale and Luka Modric's first-half strike ensured Harry Redknapp's men saw off Wigan in style.

The former Portsmouth defender was unlucky not to add his name to the scoresheet after seeing two shots cleared off the line in the first half.

Spurs' performance was in complete contrast to the team's previous displays against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the league and Watford in the FA Cup fourth round, and Kaboul was happy to give the White Hart Lane crowd something to cheer about after a difficult three-week period, during which the team also lost to the Premier League leaders Manchester City.

Kaboul said: "We lost to Man City and we didn't play very well against Watford, so we had to play real quality football again. We took three very important points and we played very good football again."

Many had written off Tottenham's title chances after their controversial 3-2 defeat at City, but the Londoners are now five points off Roberto Mancini's men after they lost at Everton on Tuesday night.

Chelsea's failure to beat Swansea also helped Tottenham cement their position in third place and they will make a real statement of intent if they can beat Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester United over the coming month.

Kaboul insists, however, that the players must not be distracted by the effect other teams' performances may have on their chances of winning the league.

"We don't really watch what's happened to the other teams. We're just looking out for ourselves because, for me, the only danger is us and no one else," the France centre-back said. "So as long as we win our games there will be no problems."

Tottenham hammered Liverpool 4-0 at the start of the season, but Kaboul expects Monday's match at Anfield to be much tougher. "Monday is going to be a massive game again against Liverpool," he said. "They're a very good team and we have to go there to have a good performance to try to get the three points, but anyone can beat anyone in this league. I think that's the only league in Europe where that can happen.

Spurs were yesterday working to complete the signing of Ryan Nelsen after the transfer deadline, following the defender's release by Blackburn. The club was awaiting international clearance after agreeing terms with the 34-year-old New Zealand captain, according to his agent, Lyle Yorks. "We settled with Blackburn and have reached agreement with Spurs," Yorks said. "We're just awaiting clearance. It's for six months, with a one-year option. It all unfolded quickly."

Nelsen, who is able to sign for a new club outside the transfer window because he is now a free agent, was in the final year of his Rovers deal and had had made just one appearance since April following a knee injury.

His move to Tottenham, like Saha's is something of a surprise, considering the injury and his age.

The pair will fill the void left by the departures of the defender Sebastien Bassong, who joined Wolves on loan, and the striker Roman Pavlyuchenko, who was yesterday on the brink of completing his reported £8m move to Lokomotiv Moscow.

The Russian transfer window is still open, so Pavlyuchenko did not need to wrap up the formalities of the deal swiftly, with Lokomotiv yesterday confirming that only a medical remained to be conducted.

PA

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