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Spurs may find that with most of their contingent at the Euros set to depart, casting an eye over Olympic football may offer a more accurate gauge of their future stars

ANALYSIS
By Jay Jaffa

Prior to Euro 2012, Tottenham fans had plenty of interest in the performances of their players in Poland and Ukraine, but just a week after the crowning of Spain, you could forgive them for feeling a little blasé about their international stars.

There were six Spurs players competing at the European Championships - all featuring for nations given at least a chance of making it to the latter stages. Yet when all was said and done, just two players made it beyond the group stage - and even they were fleeting visits.

TOTTENHAM'S EURO 2012 STARS

RAFAEL VAN DER VAART
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
156
LUKA MODRIC
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
270
NIKO KRANJCAR
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
18
N/A
VEDRAN CORLUKA
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
270
SCOTT PARKER
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
351
JERMAIN DEFOE
MINUTES PLAYED
AVERAGE RATING
13
N/A
Now with Tottenham moving into the Andre Villas-Boas era and the inevitable period of change imminent, it is entirely possible, and in several cases confirmed, that some of the players won't pull on the Lilywhite shirt again.

The cruical damage looks set to be inflicted by the Croatian contingent of Luka Modric, Niko Kranjcar and Vedran Corluka, who are all apparently heading for pastures new.

The stylish but injury-troubled Kranjcar is going back to Ukraine to turn out for Dinamo Kiev while Corluka, at fault for Ireland's only goal of the Euros, has followed his manager Slaven Bilic to Lokomotiv Moscow.

Modric was kept against his will in the 2011/12 season as he pressed for a move to Chelsea, but it was accepted by those linked to the club that this summer would see him leave White Hart Lane following Chelsea's against-the-odds win over Bayern Munich.

The good news for Daniel Levy: Modric pushed his transfer fee yet higher with a series of sophisticated midfield displays in Croatia's three matches, and reports on Friday suggested he was nearing his desired move to Real Madrid.

Rafael van der Vaart was a prominent figure for Netherlands but more as the mouthpiece for disharmony as the Dutch camp imploded with surprising speed.

The 1-0 loss to Denmark gave the Oranje, one of the favourites to lift the trophy, an uphill struggle in the toughest group and it still took until the third and final game against Portugal for Van der Vaart to be named in the starting eleven. In typically talismanic fashion, he scored the opening goal that Bert van Marwijk's side required to give them hope of qualification.

However, Portugal rallied, eliminated the Dutch and left Van der Vaart and team-mates in a rather embarrassing position. Since then, rumours have floated around suggesting he will make a return to Germany. He has history there with Hamburg and his wife Sylvie spends the majority of her time there as a model and presenter.

It may be a case of putting two and two together and reaching five, but with Villas-Boas now on board at Spurs, now would be the ideal time to let one of the most forthright members of the squad depart.

The remaining two members of the Tottenham contingent played for England, and while a semi-crocked Scott Parker threw his body in front of shot after shot, Jermain Defoe flew back and forth to tend to his father's funeral.

Defoe didn't need to be at the Euros and indeed, was only used against France; but it was testament to his commitment to England that he chose to be present in Poland and Ukraine during what must have been a terrible time for him personally.

Nonetheless, from a Tottenham perspective, they will welcome back a fully fit Defoe. Judging by past Villas-Boas teams though, there appears to be little room for a diminutive goal-getter like Defoe, and this summer may bring about his second departure from White Hart Lane.

Parker on the other hand is likely to compete with Sandro for the holding role in Villas-Boas's 4-3-3 but will almost certainly require surgery on a troublesome injury that nearly ended his involvement at Euro 2012. The 31 year-old is approaching the latter stage of his career and though he impressed in patches for England, his passing at times was well below the standard required at international level.

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Ironically, looking across all 16 teams at Euro 2012, Spurs fans may find that they will recognise a name or two being linked with the club this summer. As Joao Moutinho flirts with the prospect of working for Villas-Boas again, France's captain Hugo Lloris is believed to have the choice between Arsenal and Tottenham on his agenda.

So, in actuality, it is not the players Tottenham will welcome back from the Euros that offer the most interest but rather those touted as possible new signings. And in that vein, it is possible Spurs followers will pay more than a passing interest in the  Olympic football tournament this summer.

Steven Caulker and Danny Rose have been named as part of Stuart Pearce's England squad and Sandro heads up a talented Brazil squad. It is in fact the Selecao that could provide the biggest intrigue as long-term target Leandro Damiao and more recent propositions Oscar and Ganso will all aim to win gold for the 2014 World Cup hosts.

Regardless, the summer football will give many a Spurs fan an opportunity to catch a glimpse of next season's stars.

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