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AVB to keep Caulker involved despite Serbia charge

ESPN staff
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Andre Villas-Boas is hoping to welcome Scott Parker back soon © PA Photos
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Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has insisted his young defender Steven Caulker is ready to play in the Premier League, despite the Serbian police charging him after the brawl at the end of the England Under-21s' Euro 2013 play-off last month.

Caulker was charged by Serbian police this week in the wake of the post-match fracas, which began as a result of alleged racist chanting directed at some England players. But Villas-Boas insisted he had no concerns about playing Caulker while the situation unravels.

"We just don't have enough information about this situation in Serbia," Villas-Boas said. "It's not really for the club to give a further position regarding what we think about the situation. I am not worried about the consequences of what can happen.

"I'm extremely happy with him. He is 20 years-old and doing extremely well, coping with the best strikers in the world, Torres, Rooney, Van Persie.

"He's done it in the past during his time at Swansea, but there is more pressure on results now. All I can say is I believe Steven is ready to play and there will be no problem if he is picked at the weekend. I think he can have a bright future."

Villas-Boas also revealed that Belgian midfielder Moussa Dembele is still struggling to recover from the injury he picked up while on international duty last month, but he offered a more positive update on Scott Parker's return date.

"There has been a slight improvement with Parker," he added of the midfielder who has yet to feature this season. "We have pushed him a little more on the treadmill and we have to give him time to make sure he recovers 100%. Hopefully we will have him back in a few weeks."

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