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Dutchman gives Spurs boost...

Former Chelsea winger Arjen Robben believes new signing Rafael van der Vaart will make Tottenham as strong as arch rivals Arsenal.

The Real Madrid midfielder joined Spurs in a last-minute transfer deadline deal for £8 million.

"Before Rafa [Van der Vaart] signed, I’d still have had Arsenal down as the stronger team - but now I don’t think there is anything between them," Robben told the Daily Mail of his former Real team-mate.

"With Rafa on board, Spurs really do have one of the very best midfield players in the Premier League, maybe even the best.'

Robben's current team Bayern Munich had made a bid for Van der Vaart, but a move did not materialise.

"I don’t know why he didn’t join Bayern in the end. I really wanted him but Spurs have bought a gem.

"In terms of his vision, his range of passing, his ability to split a defence and his eye for goal he is as good as Cesc Fabregas, Steven Gerrard and of course Frank Lampard.

"He is that bridge for Spurs that makes them go from a very good Premier League club to a team capable of taking on and beating any side in Europe on their day.

"When you consider the amount of money Real Madrid and Manchester City have spent on players, it’s almost unbelievable to think what Spurs reportedly paid for Rafa.

"Madrid almost gave away one of the best players in the world – but that’s their style.

"They got rid of me and Wesley Sneijder in the same summer and I went on to win my domestic league and get to the Champions League Final while Wesley went on to win the treble and become the best player in the world.

"Madrid’s mistake will very much be Spurs’ gain."

And the man who may have convinced Van der Vaart is Arsenal striker Robin van Persie, who have have scored an own goal by helping bring his fellow Dutchman to London - for Spurs!

"I knew of his interest in England and that van Persie had been speaking with him about how great life in London was," Robben added.

"I think when Robin was trying to convince him how great London and the Premier League was, it was as though he was trying to convince him to join Arsenal.

"It’s kind of backfired on Robin a little bit now, though, because he has signed for their biggest rivals."

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