I would be the first to admit that I was wrong about Younes Kaboul. During his first stint at White Hart Lane I could see no reason why Spurs had plucked him from Ligue 1. During his time at AJ Auxerre he had gained a reputation as one of the most promising centre backs across Europe but his time in North London ended in 07-08.
Then Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp acquired him from White Hart Lane under severe competition from Aston Villa and Sunderland after seeing in his early impressive performances the raw talent that was innate to the then 22-year-old. Spurs were just embarking on the ill-fated Juande Ramos era who unlike predecessor Martin Jol saw no place for the powerful Frenchman in his starting line-up.
At that time he declared how he felt Pompey were more likely to finish in the top five in the Premier League that season than his former and now current employers:
"I think Pompey are a top-five Premier League side and I believe I can achieve what I want to achieve at this club.’’
Of course now that seems ludicrous considering Portsmouth are in League One but at the time they were FA Cup Winners about to embark on a European adventure.
His talent burst through at Fratton Park and Redknapp re-signed him at White Hart Lane in January of 2010; an event that finally shone a brighter spotlight on the precarious financial position on the South Coast.
Since then he has improved vastly and become a vital member of the Tottenham Hotspur backline. His pace, strength and aerial ability are all one thing but he also possesses the technical nuances needed to play the type of football Andre Villas Boas is clearly determined to drill in.
At the start of the season there was a case to say Kaboul was AVB’s first choice centre back with the likes of Gallas, Caulker and Vertonghen supporting cast. Michael Dawson was on his way out until it was confirmed an injury that prevented him from travelling with the France squad to Euro 2012 required surgery. He was told he would be out of action for four months.
Without him AVB has been forced into using both the ageing Gallas and young Caulker more then he would have previously desired. With Benoit Assou-Ekotto also on the side-lines it has seen Jan Vertonghen often being used at left-back meaning a more significant role for Michael Dawson; a player he clearly does not have confidence in.
Currently the date pencilled in for the French internationals return is 27th December and that cannot come soon enough for Tottenham. The once discounted klutz is now potentially the missing piece in the Spurs defensive puzzle.
How important could the return of Younes Kaboul be for the club?
image: © illarterate