Spurs star Sandro can be ‘the new Dunga’ for Brazil, says Heurelho Gomes

TOTTENHAM midfielder Sandro is set to be a huge star for Spurs and ‘the new Dunga’ for Brazil, according to his compatriot and mentor Heurelho Gomes.

Sandro was one of the Lilywhites’ biggest stars over the two legs with AC Milan, making the interception which led to the decisive goal at the San Siro before playing a key role in the rearguard action at White Hart Lane last night.

The 21-year-old played all 180 minutes against the Rosseneri – a remarkable achievement for a player who was left out of Tottenham’s Champions League squad for the group stages, and made his European debut in the first leg of the last 16.

The summer signing from Brazilian outfit Internacional has progressed rapidly since a nightmare outing in the 4-2 defeat by Bolton in November, and has now made 15 appearances in a Spurs shirt, starting four of the last five games.

That progress, it appears, is partly down to his fellow Brazilian Gomes, who is all too aware of the difficulty of adapting to the English game and has taken his new team-mate - who he likens to Brazil’s World Cup-winning captain Dunga - under his wing.

“He [Sandro] was brilliant last night, and also in the last few games he’s played - at the San Siro, at Sunderland and last weekend against Wolves he played very well,” said Gomes. “I think he’s learned a lot now about the English game, and also about the Champions League, and it’s very good for him.

“It’s not easy to move to a new country. He’s still young, he’s still 21. He’s learning quickly, it’s a great time for him and he needs to keep going now and watch games on TV.

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“I tell him all the time to watch games on TV to learn the pace of the game. I keep telling him ‘sometimes in the English game you have just one option to pass to’. He needs to know it quickly because sometimes there’s a lot of pressure and he needs to decide before he gets the ball.

“I think he looks like Dunga, when Dunga played in the holding midfield position. Sandro has quality as well, he can hold the ball and get the ball back for us, and he can play as well. I think he’s brilliant for us.”

Manager Harry Redknapp added: “Sandro was immense in midfield for a young lad with limited experience of the Champions League. He needed a little run of games and he is a powerful aggressive, strong player. He has the ability to run and work for 90 minutes and I felt he put in a big performance for us last night.

“He has a big future. He’s only 21 and he’s in the Brazil squad. He’s not a typical Brazilian player, he doesn’t have the silky skills of the top Brazilian players, but he certainly has other great attributes.”