By Chris Myson & André Baibich
New Tottenham Hotspur signing Sandro has spoken of his delight after joining the north London side, calling them his ideal club, despite previous reported interest from Arsenal.
The 21-year-old defensive midfielder, who has been capped by Brazil, will join Spurs from South American heavyweights Internacional for an undisclosed fee, reported to be around £10 million, at the end of the season.
Harry Redknapp’s side have been long-term admirers of the player and announced his capture in late March as reports that the Gunners had also been vying for his signature circulated.
“Of course Arsenal are a great club, but I think Tottenham [Hotspur] is a great fit for me,” Sandro exclusively told Goal.com.
“They are going through a special moment, fighting for a spot in the next Champions League.
“I really liked the offer from Tottenham and the fact that it’s a club that is growing every year makes it the ideal club for me.”
Many analysts have compared his game to that of Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios. Yet while acknowledging some similarities, Sandro sees himself playing alongside the former Wigan Athletic star and not competing against him as a direct rival for places.
“I spoke with him [Wilson Palacios] when I went to London,” revealed Sandro. “He is a very nice guy and a fantastic player.
“Our attributes are similar, but not exactly the same. I think we could play together in midfield.”
With the likes of Palacios, Luka Modric, Tom Huddlestone, Niko Kranjcar and Jermaine Jenas all capable of playing in the centre of midfield, Sandro faces stiff competition to secure a regular first-team berth at White Hart Lane, but it is a challenge he is relishing.
“I think I have to earn my space in the team the same way I did at Internacional,” he added. “I’m a starter here now because I fought a lot to be in this position, and it will be challenging to do this again at Tottenham.
“I have to take every match as if it is a final, gaining confidence from the manager and the fans.”
When asked about the physical demands of the English game, Sandro, who made his debut for Inter in 2007 at the age of 18, seemed unfazed.
“In the clubs of the south of Brazil like Inter, Gremio and Juventude, there is a culture that values the physical part of the game," he said.
“I think the scouts are more interested in strong players and we develop that strength once we get into the team.
“I believe that is a huge part of the success that some of the former Inter and Gremio players are enjoying in Europe.”
Sandro’s first season with Tottenham will definitely involve European football, but whether it will be in the Champions League depends on who comes out on top of a four-way battle with Manchester City, Aston Villa and Liverpool.
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