The Spurs boss is adamant the 21-year-old midfielder is capable of emulating Real Madrid's Croatian playmaker, and admits he tried to recall the QPR loanee in JanuaryTottenham head coach Tim Sherwood has backed youngster Tom Carroll to fill the creative void left by Luka Modric, and believes the QPR loanee has qualities the current Spurs squad lacks.
The 21-year-old has enjoyed a successful loan spell at Loftus Road, making 26 appearances and helping former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp's side secure a place in the Championship play-offs as they bid to return to the Premier League.
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“I could go on for ever about this, it’s just about having a blend in different areas of the field and different types of players in different areas of the field, and I just think the squad misses that a little bit,” Sherwood told reporters.
“Sometimes you can turn around and look to make a change, and it’s not always a like-for-like change that you want to make.
“Sometimes you want to bring someone on to make a difference, a different type, and I just think the blend’s not fantastic. But that takes time to work with and it’s also in the recruitment process of the club.
“Sandro and [Etienne] Capoue are similar, in stature and in the way they break up the game. I think Paulinho’s a little bit different, he likes to break forward into the box.
“But we miss that player - I’m not saying [Mousa] Dembele can’t do it because he can pick it up and he can dribble – but we miss someone who moves that ball and passes it between the lines very quickly, and he assists the assister.
“Gareth Bale needed that ball very quickly and I think Luka Modric got it to him very quickly. I think Tom Carroll was that player - he can do that, absolutely. I tried to bring Tom back [in January], it just wasn’t possible.”