Rafa van der Vaart special: 'It's a pleasure to watch Dele play'
25 April 2017|Tottenham Hotspur
As the big one against Arsenal draws closer, Rafa van der Vaart has spoken to us about what the north London derby meant to him during his two-year spell at Spurs.
The sight of the Gunners certainly brought out the best of Rafa, who scored four goals in three appearances against Arsenal, winning two, drawing one. Few fans will forget the pure emotion of his celebrations.
Rafa's derby memories will come later in the week as we count down to Sunday's clash at the Lane.
First up, what has he made of Dele Alli?
Rafa scored 28 goals in 77 appearances for us between 2010-2012 and it's safe to say the former Ajax, Hamburg and Real Madrid star now playing for FC Midtjylland in Denmark has been impressed with the 21-year-old who has now racked up 20 goals in all competitions this term and lifted the PFA Young Player of the Year for the second-successive season.
Below: Dele celebrates his recent cracker against Watford
"It’s just a pleasure to see him play," said Rafa. "He’s still so young and already so eager, I like that a lot. He’s fast, fluid and has a great skillset.
"I hope everyone will give him his time to develop to his full potential.
"It’s not easy in the Premier League for young players and perhaps even less so for the British talents because all eyes are on them.
"I hope he’s having a great time on the pitch and at the club. He’s special and if he keeps enjoying himself and the game, he may become a true great. I wish him well."
Below: Special memories - Rafa celebrates against Arsenal - October, 2011
Look out later in the week for Rafa's interview in full, here's a quick taste, on derby week...
"You feel those weeks even more. It’s what the game is all about. It is for the fans, for their history with the club, for their pride, for their future. You do it for them."