Belfast Telegraph

Rafa must get fitter - Redknapp

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes deadline-day signing Rafael van der Vaart needs to improve his fitness.

The 27-year-old has become a firm favourite at his new club since joining from Real Madrid for £8million but Redknapp reckons the Holland midfielder showed signs of fatigue towards the end of Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Sunderland and still needs to fully adapt to playing in the Barclays Premier League.

Quoted in several newspapers, Redknapp said: "He should be okay for the weekend (against Blackburn). He got tired, didn't he? He disappeared a bit, second half (against Sunderland). He's got to get fitter and adapt to playing 90 minutes in the Premier League. He's a fantastic player but I think he does just run out of steam a little bit at the moment."

Van der Vaart aggravated a hamstring injury in Tottenham's 3-1 win over Inter Milan earlier this month and sat out last weekend's 4-2 defeat at Bolton before making a goalscoring return to the side against the Black Cats.

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