Harry Redknapp has bemoaned the lack of top-class English youngsters in the modern game as he looks to strengthen his Tottenham
squad for next season.
During Martin Jol's reign as boss from 2004 until 2007, Spurs became known as a haven for the most promising English footballers of the day, with current Spurs quartet Aaron Lennon, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas and Michael Dawson all moving to White Hart Lane while the Dutchman was in charge.
That philosophy was abandoned by Jol's ill-fated successor Juande Ramos, who brought in a collection of players from all over the world - to little success.
But although Redknapp is keen to buy English, he believes the cupboard is almost bare.
The Spurs boss said: 'If I could find good, young English players, I would, but it is very, very difficult.
'You can go out and make a point of buying English players, but if they're not good enough, it's a waste of time. I do think there is a dearth of top young English players.
'We're certainly not over-loaded. I think the group of players we have in the national team at the moment are the best we have had for a long time. But I fear that they are also the best we will have for some years to come.'
Homegrown: Spurs winger Aaron Lennon was signed by Martin Jol
Despite suffering only one defeat in their last seven matches in the Premier League, Spurs are still just five points above the drop zone, and face a tough run of fixtures, starting with a trip to fourth-placed Aston Villa on Sunday.
Guus Hiddink's rejuvenated Chelsea are at White Hart Lane on March 21, before Spurs travel to Blackburn - another team fighting relegation - two weeks later.
Redknapp's men also travel to Liverpool and Manchester United before the end of the campaign, and have tricky home games against West Ham and Newcastle.
After taking over last October, Redknapp said he would quit as manager if he failed to keep Spurs in the top flight - and the 62-year-old remains convinced he would walk away should the club drop into the Championship.
He added: 'That's how I would feel, but I don't see that happening. I don't see it as an issue.
'When I took over, I was very confident we would stay up, and I still am.'
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