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Partizan v Tottenham: Captain Kaboul reports for duty

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 16 Sep 2014

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Younes Kaboul’s tenure as Tottenham club captain begins with a trip to Partizan in the UEFA Europa League group stage on Thursday.

The French defender was confirmed as the club’s new skipper on Monday following the departure of former incumbent Michael Dawson to Hull City, with Hugo Lloris and Emmanuel Adebayor assisting him as vice-captains.

Kaboul joined Tottenham in 2007, but left for Portsmouth a year later before returning to White Hart Lane in 2010, and coach Mauricio Pochettino believes the 28-year-old has the attributes to be a success in the role.

“Younes has shown me all the values needed to be a captain,” he told the club’s official website. “He has the character to lead this team as well as the respect of his team-mates.

“Hugo and Ade will be vice-captains and both of them, along with Younes, possess tremendous experience and have all shown a great attitude and leadership.”

Kaboul himself added: “I am delighted to have been given this responsibility. To follow in the footsteps of some of the legendary captains that have represented this football club is a fantastic honour.

“It is a great achievement for me on a personal level and I hope to help lead this team to great things in the future.”

And – should he be selected to feature on Thursday – Kaboul’s first task will be to lead Tottenham to a winning start in Belgrade.

The London club have become a regular feature in this competition in recent seasons, with this being their fourth participation in succession.

A run to the quarter-finals during the 2012-13 campaign remains their best performance in that time.

Partizan’s European adventure began in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, but a defeat to Ludogorets at the next stage saw them parachute into the Europa League, overcoming Neftci of Azerbaijan 5-3 on aggregate to book their place in Group C alongside Tottenham, Besiktas and Asteras Tripolis.

The Serbian club will have bad memories of facing London opposition, though, having lost 3-1 at home and away to Arsenal during the group stage of the 2010-11 Champions League.

Roberto Soldado (neck) and Jan Vertonghen (muscular) both missed out for Tottenham in the 2-2 draw at Sunderland at the weekend, while Kyle Walker underwent abdominal surgery earlier this month.

Petar Skuletic is suspended for the hosts.

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