Spurs 'to keep' English core
By Lewis Rutledge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Damien Comolli has said that Tottenham will never build their team around foreigners.
Tottenham's sporting director Damien Comolli has assured fans that the club will never follow Arsenal's example of building a side around foreign players.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger has named very few English players in the majority of his teams over the past few seasons, and at times there has not even been a single British player in the Arsenal starting XI.
However, Comolli has insisted that Martin Jol has no intention of steering Tottenham in the same direction, stressing that there will always be a core of home-grown players at White Hart Lane.
"We will never do what Arsenal have done," he stressed. "When I discussed with the board last year about coming they told me that the club's philosophy was built on English players and I agreed with them.
"What we have been trying to do has not changed. We always try to sign British players, the second option is foreign players within the Premiership and the third is looking abroad.
"But we won't say we won't buy someone because they are foreign as we need to bring in quality players.
"Martin is right about having an English core. We lost only Michael Carrick in the summer (to Manchester United) but Tom Huddlestone is getting more involved this year as a result.
"Our policy now is to sign the right players. We are looking for top quality so the quantity will be less."
Tottenham were linked with Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing in the summer and some supporters have questioned why they did not manage to sign a left winger.
But Comolli said: "They have wondered why we haven't signed a left-winger but they are difficult to find. Of the teams who reached the last 16 of the World Cup there was only one left-winger.
"It is not something we should concentrate on. We have enough quality to compensate. It's not so much of a problem and they should not worry."
Didier Zokora, meanwhile, is back in full training after missing four games with a mild bout of malaria.
The Ivory Coast midfielder said: "I am very good now and want to play soon. I don't like missing games because football is my passion and I am back training with the group, no problem."