Tim Sherwood has challenged Etienne Capoue to show him that he deserves a place in the Tottenham Hotspur starting line-up.
Many Spurs fans expected the defensive midfielder to head out of the White Hart Lane exit on deadline day, with Napoli heavily linked with a move for the Frenchman, however he has remained at the club.
Capoue has only started one Premier League game under Sherwood and has been concerned about the impact of his chances of going to Brazil in the summer with France.
“He’s here until the end of the season and hopefully he’ll get enough chances to prove he’s good enough to play in his national team at the World Cup,” the Spurs boss said.
“To get in the team he just has to play and train well and show that he’s as good as what’s in front of him. That’s how it is.
“Whatever we’re left with after deadline day, it’s pretty much a clean slate. I’m not going to pick anyone just because he’s English or French, it’s not like that. If you’re playing well and I like you better than the other one, then ultimately I like to win football games so the best team plays.”
Capoue told L’Equipe yesterday: “It’s hard. I went from undisputed holding midfielder to someone applying to play. This is the first time I saw that.
“If I do not play, it will be difficult (to be at the World Cup). If something presents itself, we will discuss.”
“I’m not surprised (about having to play there at centre back),” he said. “This is the English mind. “They do not know much about foreign players.”
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