TOTTENHAM Hotspur insist that Sunderland loanee Danny Rose’s long-term future lies at White Hart Lane.
The 22-year-old left-back has been in tremendous form in the first half of a season-long loan at Sunderland.
Indeed, his form has prompted talk on the one hand of Spurs activating a recall clause in the January transfer window, or of the Black Cats making an ambitious offer to turn the temporary offer into a permanent one.
Both of those prospects appeared to be discounted by Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas in the wake of the Londoners’ 2-1 win over Sunderland at the weekend.
He said of Rose (pictured below): “Permanent is impossible because we have big expectations for the future for the player, but it might be different in terms of him continuing his loan.
“He is our product and will come back to Spurs.
“But he has done well here, has been man-of-the-match on a few occasions and this is a great learning curve for the player.”
On Saturday, Spurs had right-back Kyle Naughton playing at left-back and he made a decent fist of the job, as has versatile centre-half Jan Vertonghen in the absence of clear first-choice Benoit Assou-Ekotto.
But Assou-Ekotto is in full training now – one of several big players Spurs have poised to return in the New Year – and Villas-Boas knows that there is no need to recall a player who is benefiting so much from his time on Wearside.
On Saturday, the Spurs boss rotated his impressive squad and played Steven Caulker at centre-half on his 21st birthday.
And it has not been lost on the club that 6ft 3in Caulker has come on leaps and bounds on the back of playing 26 Premier League games while on loan to Swansea City last season.
Villas-Boas appears to in the frame of mind to allow Rose to follow Caulker’s example and Sunderland boss Martin O’Neill will be relieved if that’s the case.
It means he won’t have to go looking for a left-back next month and can instead see if Rose can continue making the real impact he has done so far.
The Spurs manager’s candour with reporters left O’Neill wrong-footed, the Sunderland manager arriving in the Press room to be told the situation with Rose by Her Majesty’s Press.
“Well, I haven’t had the chance to talk yet to the Spurs manager, but if it is the case that Danny Rose can stay all season, that’s great news,” he smiled. “But I will wait until I speak to him myself.
“I think he thinks he has a really good talent on his hands and we would agree with that, but Danny can stay here to the end of the season, after which we’ll see what happens after that.”
As for the claim that a permanent move was impossible, O’Neill chose to reserve his judgment.
He’s aware that Doncaster-born Rose has been thrilled with the way the loan move has gone and that the defender has suggested he would not be averse to a permanent move to Wearside.
He said: “We’ll just see what happens because a lot can happen in football.
“I’m sure if we offered £38million for Danny, Andre might taxi him up here himself!
“The fact is that Danny has done very well here, but, in many aspects, that’s helping Tottenham.
“You know there weren’t too many takers for Danny in the summer. There weren’t too many coming in for him.
“There was no rush to get him signed up.
“But he has done remarkably well here, I think he’s enjoyed it very much and if he does stay for the rest of the season that will be very good for us.”