Noel Whelan has called on Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn to prove himself in training after he was sent home from the Holland squad with a fitness issue.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley, the former Leeds United and Coventry City striker claimed the 23-year-old will need to work extremely hard to dislodge Gareth Bale from the Spurs starting XI.

The Dutch FA released a statement earlier in the week saying the winger had returned to his club as he was “not fit enough”.

Bergwijn has featured in 10 games for Tottenham this season but has started just once in the Premier League.

And Whelan believes has now called on him to take the most of these opportunities to stake a claim for a regular spot.

He told Football Insider: “I can see him establishing himself as a first-team regular at Tottenham, but when you’ve got players of Gareth Bale’s quality and ability with the other wingers that are there, it’s very competitive in the wide positions.

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“He’s a very good player, that’s the reason why Jose Mourinho brought him in.

“Jose doesn’t just pick players because he needs to bolster his squad, he picks players because they make everything competitive.

“Right now, you’ve got to say that Gareth Bale is the one player that will be taking that position.

“He’s got competition, it’s about attitude, it’s about showing the manager you deserve that place and you’re willing to fight for your place.

“There’s going to be squad rotation because Tottenham are in Europe and other cup competitions.

“He will get the opportunity but when it does come around, he’s got to show the manager that he deserves it. Not like when they went abroad and Jose Mourinho said he saw nothing from his players that were given the opportunity to prove themselves.”

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