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Croatian might be the key against Chelsea

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp believes Luka Modric has developed into a world-class player during his time at the club.

Modric was highly impressive against Inter and Werder Bremen in the Champions League, and has also been outstanding in Tottenham's last two league encounters with Birmingham City and Liverpool. Redknapp now considers him an integral part of the team, and a positive influence in and around the club.

"I just think he's an absolute top player and top fella," Redknapp said, according to the Guardian.

"He's not a minute's problem. He comes in every day, works hard, trains and never complains. He is an absolute dream to work with.

"For me, Gareth [Bale] would probably be our player of the season so far but Luka has just been amazing. I cannot speak highly enough of him."

Chelsea, who Tottenham face on Saturday, were linked with a summer move for the Croatian, as were Manchester United. But Tottenham's talisman pledged his allegiance to the club by signing a six-year contract extension.

Assistant manager Joe Jordan has also been pleased with Modric as of late.

"There isn't a more in-form midfielder, especially since he's been brought into that area [deeper in midfield]," Jordan said.

"You can get him more on the ball and he has taken that. Luka is a brave player in the sense that he will take the ball from anybody, anywhere. 

"No matter who's trying to close him down, he'll take the ball, very rarely lose it and, more often than not, create something. He has grasped the responsibility of playing in that role and he has been first class."

Redknapp described Modric last year as the club's "world class player" and has watched him go from strength to strength.

Tottenham face Chelsea on Saturday at White Hart Lane, and the North London club will see this as a perfect opportunity to state their claim as title contenders, especially as Chelsea have had a shaky few weeks.

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