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Rafael - I'm no Real reject

Spurs new boy ready to earn his first-team place

Last Updated: 02/09/10 6:18pm

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Van der Vaart: Spurs switch

Van der Vaart: Spurs switch

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Tottenham's latest deadline recruit Rafael van der Vaart insists he was no 'failure' at Real Madrid.

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"It's a great signing, we are all looking forward to seeing him join us"
Niko Kranjcar. Quotes of the week

Harry Redknapp completed another spectacular swoop in the 11th-hour of the transfer market after the Premier League ratified the Holland international's £8million switch on Wednesday.

Van der Vaart brought his two-year spell at the Santiago Bernabeu to an end after finding himself out of Jose Mourinho's first-team plans at the start of this season.

And the former Ajax and Hamburg star maintains he can hold his head up high after his time in Spain.

"I have not been a failure at Real Madrid," the Dutch World Cup finalist told Talksport.

"I have always given my best over the last few years for both club and country. Now I have arrived at Tottenham and I want to show my quality."

Champions League lure

Van der Vaart admitted the lure of Champions League football at White Hart Lane played a major role in his decision to join Spurs, but the 27-year-old knows he will have to earn his place in Redknapp's starting XI.

He added: "I don't think I am going to have any problems adapting in England to the style of play and the country I am living in.

"The fact that Tottenham were playing in the Champions League influenced my decision a great deal. I have to earn my place in the team.

"Tottenham have a number of sensational players and I know it is not going to be easy, but that is the challenge I am looking forward to."

Van der Vaart's arrival could limit Niko Kranjcar's first-team opportunities this season, but the Croatian midfielder feels the Dutchman will prove another shrewd buy for Spurs ahead of their first Champions League quest.

"It's a great signing, a player who has played for Real Madrid and Holland. We are all looking forward to seeing him join us," Kranjcar told Sky Sports News.

"We unfortunately lost points at home to Wigan Athletic, but it's a competitive league and it is early.

"We have got one of the best squads in the league and I really do believe we have everything to compete in all four competitions."

January signing?

Meanwhile, South Africa defender Bongani Khumalo could still be primed for a move to Tottenham in the January transfer window.

The promising 23-year-old had a trial with the London outfit but failed to join the likes of former Arsenal defender William Gallas, Brazil defensive midfielder Sandro and on-loan goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa during the summer.

And Khumalo's club SuperSport United have told Spurs they must up their interest or risk losing out to a rival.

SuperSport chairman Khulu Sibiya told the Sowetan newspaper: "This is not a foregone conclusion and Tottenham will have to pitch a new and better offer during the next transfer window. Negotiations will open then.

"I am of the opinion that the player has a lot of potential. If he is patient and concentrates on cementing his place in the national team, he will go far.

"I feel sure that in a few months Bongani's stature will have risen and he will secure himself an even better overseas move."

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