It may be safe to say Croatian Vedran Corluka will not go down as a Spurs legend, but he did play more than one important role at the Lilywhites.
The 6ft 4in defender made 81 Premier League appearances for Spurs from 2008 to 2012 scoring once and in all competitions represented the club 103 times and he was not only brought to the club for his defensive qualities, it helped in a big way he was best friends with Croatian teammate Luka Modric who had just joined weeks before.
However, it would be unfair to claim one of Corluka’s main roles at the club was to keep Modric happy as the defender was more than capable of holding his own.
This was evident as he was a regular starter for Manchester City during the 2007/08 Premier League season and despite blunder against Chelsea in a 6-0 loss, the Croatian was a popular figure in Manchester.
His performances clearly caught Juande Ramos’ eyes who brought him to White Hart Lane but unfortunately for Corluka and Modric, Ramos was at the helm as Tottenham produced their worst ever start to a Premier League campaign.
In Came Harry Redknapp and Corluka remained an important figure in North London making 29 Premier League appearances the following season before the appearances began to dry up.
In January 2012, Spurs shipped Corluka out to Bayer Leverkusen on loan after making just eight appearances in all competitions in the first half of the season and by the season’s end, the Croatian found his way on a permanent deal to Lokomotiv Moscow.
This deal coincided with former Croatia head coach and now West Brom manager Slaven Bilić’s arrival in Moscow and eight years later and over 200 appearances later, Corluka still finds himself in the Russian capital as an integral part of the squad.
At 34, there can be no doubt that Corluka’s career is on the wind-down but with over 100 Premier League appearances, over 100 caps for Croatia, there is the belief that if Corluka was 24 today, he would be in high demand.