Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes has warned the club that if they don’t finish in the top four of the Premier League this season and secure Champions League football, then they’ll struggle to keep hold of their in-demand star players like Gareth Bale and Luka Modric at the end of the current campaign.
Spurs, who have reached the quarter-finals of europe’s premier club competition this season – they trail Real Madrid 4-0 at the mid-point of the tie, with the return leg at White Hart Lane on Wednesday evening – are battling to secure a place in the top four once again, battling with Chelsea and Manchester City to secure one of two places seemingly available.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is keen on purchasing “one or two that will make the difference” in the summer and turn Spurs into genuine title contenders. However, Gomes has warned that, not only will that become more difficult if they finish outside the top four this season, but a lack of Champions League football in the 2011-12 season could see Spurs key players leave White Hart Lane.
“When you play Champions League, every player wants to sign for Spurs,” Gomes said.
“And maybe without Champions League, it’s a little bit difficult to sign very good players, and also to keep the best players. Of course, it’s important to keep the likes of Gareth Bale but I think the whole team is very important for us.
“We’ve loved playing in the Champions League, it’s a massive competition. The club thinks big and when a club thinks big, we have to be there and we have to play Champions League. To finish in the top four, we need to beat Arsenal, Chelsea and City but we’ve beaten them before, we did it at the end of last season and we can do it again.”
Welsh winger Bale and Croatian playmaker Modric have both been linked with big-money moves to European powerhouses like Real Madrid, Internazionale and Manchester United, and if Spurs can’t offer the creative duo another crack at the Champions League, then both may be tempted by pastures new.
Brazilian stopper Gomes, the former PSV Eindhoven man, also has faith that Spurs can pull off the biggest shock in Champions League history and overturn the four goal deficit that they currently trail Jose Mourinho’s side by.
An Emmanuel Adebayor double, and goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Angel Di Maria, have all but put Spurs out of Europe, but Gomes, who was part of the PSV side that produced a remarkable display to go from third place, overtaking both AZ Alkmaar and Ajax, to win the Eredivisie title on the last day of the 2006-07 season, believes that Spurs are capable.
“It’s going to be a massive game with Madrid but I spoke to a couple of the boys and I said, ‘If you score like we did against Stoke City on Saturday [in the 3-2 win] and not concede any goals, we can get through’,” Gomes said.
“I think it’s more difficult to score against an English team in England than against a European team. It’s not easy to score against Stoke. They are big lads and they block everything.
“We have shown a lot of character before to come back from difficult situations and I think we can show it again. We think first about winning the game and then maybe, maybe.
“Why not? It’s going to be difficult but we still feel we can do it.”