Van der Vaart keen to earn his Spurs

Rafael van der Vaart maintains he was no “failure” at Real Madrid – but will not take a place in the Tottenham team for granted.

Spurs were able to complete the £8m signing of the Holland international after the Premier League ratified the 11th-hour transfer deadline day move.

The 27-year-old former Ajax and Hamburg midfielder appeared surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu, with Germany star Mesut Ozil having arrived in the summer.

However, while the Dutch World Cup finalist maintains he has nothing to prove at White Hart Lane, Van der Vaart knows competition for places will be intense.

“I have not been a failure at Real Madrid,” Van der Vaart said.

“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.

“A number of clubs have been interested in me, but I always wanted to consider the best option at the last moment.

“When I saw that I would not be playing, I knew I had to leave.

“The Premier League is one of the best leagues in the world. I can only say if I have been worth the money at the end of the season.”

Van der Vaart is confident he will be able to perform in the Premier League.

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.”

Midfielder Niko Kranjcar feels the Dutchman will prove another shrewd buy for Harry Redknapp, and joins a club very much on the up following qualification for the first time to the group stages of the Champions League.

“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,” the Croatian 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.”

Tottenham also brought in former Arsenal defender William Gallas, Brazil defensive midfielder Sandro and, on loan, goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa during the summer transfer window.

South Africa defender Bongani Khumalo had a trial with Spurs and it has been suggested the promising 23-year-old is set for a January move.

However, his club SuperSport United maintain Spurs 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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