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Following Sandro

Ever since the rumor that Spurs were trying to sign Internacional's Sandro started, I've been following the team and their exploits in the Brasileiro and Copa Libertadores. I've heard through internet grumblings and Tim Vickery on the World Football Phone-In that Sandro is a quality player, and I was curious about what he might bring to the table for my club. After all, any time someone is willing to spend somewhere in the neighborhood of £14m for a young player, there must be something exciting about them. His final transfer fee was undisclosed, but Sandro has officially signed with Spurs and will be joining the team at the conclusion of Internacional's Copa Libertadores campaign.

That could very possibly happen tonight, as Internacional travel to the Morumbi to take on Sao Paulo in the second leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final tie. Internacional won the first leg 1-0 and as I explained in a piece for World Soccer Reader, Internacional are in better form in the Brasileiro and should be slight favorites.

Sandro's performance in the first leg was a very good one. He passed the ball very well and won a few 50-50 challenges. Internacional created considerably more chances than Sao Paulo as Sandro's positioning in the center of midfield allowed Inter to keep possession and shut down any attempts at counter attacks from Sao Paulo. That's what Sandro does in every match, and why I'm so happy that Tottenham have signed him.

I said earlier today that the M.O. for Spurs is underwhelming, inconsistent performances that usually contain a few moments of absolute brilliance, and that's why Sandro is such a great addition to Spurs. As opposed to a player like Jermaine Jenas, who has the occasional incredible highlight but is fairly useless for 80 or more minutes of a game, Sandro is a useful player for an entire game who rarely provides highlight reel plays. Occasionally he'll play a brilliant through ball that leads to a goal, but that's not what he's in a team for. He holds his position well, passes well, and makes intelligent and well-timed tackles, and he does this without sacrificing anything in the way of athleticism to the likes of Wilson Palacios and Jermaine Jenas.

When Spurs fans who are not up on Brazilian football first watch Sandro, they may not appreciate what he does right away. To be honest, I didn't appreciate his skills when I first watched him on a low-quality internet stream with a bad camera angle. Then I watch an Internacional game on a high quality stream on a gigantic television and a good camera angle that caught his movements off the ball. He's an extremely intelligent player for 21 years old and his positioning is impeccable. It may take Sandro some time to adjust to the English game, but when he does - and I think this is a matter of when and not if - he will give us a lot of versatility. He can play in the middle of Harry's regular English-style 4-4-2 setup, but I think that his presence will give us the freedom to play variations of 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3.

If you are a Spurs supporter and you get Fox Sports en Espanol, I recommend you turn on your television tonight at 8:50 pm EST and watch some Copa Libertadores.