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The Tottenham boss appreciates the wantaway duo's frustration at not receiving much game time, and says it would not be “fair” to keep them at the club against their will.

Tottenham head coach Tim Sherwood does not begrudge Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue for wanting to leave White Hart Lane in search of regular first-team football.

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Both players have featured only sparingly under the new Spurs boss, who has instead opted to field youngster Nabil Bentaleb in midfield, who he coached for the club's Under-21 side.

Holtby has sought clarification over his role with the north Londoners, with his agent admiting he would be open to a return to Schalke, while Capoue is the subject of interest from Napoli and would be allowed to leave if his 10 million pound valuation is met.

Despite praising the wantaway duo's qualities, Sherwood understands their frustrations and won't stand in their way should they seek to leave the club.

“I like Lewis, he is a good lad and one of the best trainers we’ve got,” said the former England international. “But having played the game myself, I understand all players want to play. And if they are not getting a lot of opportunities, sometimes you have to be fair to the players.

“But, first and foremost, my job is to do what’s right for this football club. Same with Capoue. He’s a good lad, who hasn’t given me a moment’s problem. I’ve gone with Nabil Bentaleb in midfield because I knew him. I am getting to know Etienne as well now.”

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