Woodgate set for loan
Spurs defender Jonathan Woodgate could head out on loan in the New Year after returning to training.
Last Updated: 24/12/10 12:12pm
Tottenham Hotspur defender Jonathan Woodgate could head out on loan in the New Year following his return to training.
Woodgate has not made a first-team appearance for Spurs in over 12 months and featured only three times last season due to a groin injury.
It was initially feared that the 30-year-old would not play at all this term and there were concerns at one stage that the centre-half would be forced into retirement.
However, the England international is now back in training and could be fit enough to play first-team football in the next fortnight.
The former Middlesbrough stopper may have to wait for his chance at Spurs, though, as manager Harry Redknapp feels Woodgate will benefit from a temporary move away from White Hart Lane.
Redknapp said: "I spoke to Jonathan and I said to him that if he comes through the next couple of weeks then it might be a good idea for him to go out on loan to play some matches and I think he fancies that.
"He has been out a long time and he is a fantastic centre half.
"Anyone who loans Jonathan Woodgate is getting one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League and I would be willing to do that just to give him some games."
Make or break
Redknapp admits Woodgate must now prove he is capable of performing at the level which persuaded Real Madrid to part with £13million for his services back in 2004.
"If he'd have been out for the rest of the season, I don't know whether he'd come back from that," said Redknapp, who already has the likes of William Gallas, Sebastien Bassong, Younes Kaboul, Michael Dawson and Ledley King who can play in central defence.
"He has been out a long time but at least he's back training, feels good and looks in good shape. This period is make or break time for him really.
"He needs to get out, play some games and show he's ready to get his career going again."