Michael Dawson insists Tottenham will have the firepower to break into the top four this season.

Despite losing Robbie Keane to Liverpool on Monday and with Dimitar Berbatov seemingly set for Manchester United, Dawson is sure Spurs will not struggle for goals.

The centre-half ’s confidence is built around the attacking signings Spurs have made — £17million David Bentley today joined Luca Modric and Giovani dos Santos as new arrivals at White Lane — and the fact Juande Ramos is closing in on a couple of other major targets.

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Russia team-mates Andrei Arshavin, one of the stars of Euro 2008, and Roman Pavlyuchenko are poised to sign in deals which will cost Spurs £34m.

Dawson has also been cheered by the return to form of Darren Bent, who is suddenly among the goals after a wretched season following his £16.5m move from Charlton last summer.

Bent scored a hat-trick in last night’s 5-1 friendly win at Leyton Orient to bring his pre-season tally to nine.

Dawson said: 'We’re confident we can challenge for the top four this season. We’ve had a good pre-season, scored plenty of goals and the fans are excited by the new players that have come in.

'If you look at the signings we have made — Luca, Giovani and others — that shows the club’s ambition. David Bentley will also be a good signing.

'They will all bring quality to the team and Darren Bent is also on fire at the moment.

'He’s enjoying himself and showing his class during pre-season. We won the Carling Cup last year but the league position wasn’t the best and that’s what we want to improve on.'

Modric and Aaron Lennon also got on the scoresheet on a night which saw the future of Berbatov at Spurs plunged into further doubt.

The Bulgarian was not at the Orient match and is desperate to complete his protracted
move to United, with relations between White Hart Lane and Old Trafford still frosty.

While that saga drags on, Spurs are near to completing their double swoop for Arshavin and Pavlyuchenko.

Arshavin, 27, has been a target for Chelsea, Arsenal and Barcelona but the Zenit St Petersburg playmaker, who will cost around £19m, is going to sign for Spurs in the next five days according to his agent.

'I am very optimistic about this deal but it is not easy — as usual with Russian clubs,' said Dennis Lachter.

'Andrei likes the way Juande Ramos is going to play at Tottenham and this is the main
point of our decision — not only the money but the desire of the manager to have the player.”

Pavlyuchenko, 26, is set to join from Spartak Moscow for £15m and Spurs hope that by signing two Russians, both players will find it easy to settle in London.

Pavlyuchenko ruined England’s chances of qualifying for Euro 2008, scoring two goals in a qualifier in Moscow last October.

While there have been big changes at Spurs this summer, Dawson will certainly be staying as he signed a new five-year contract yesterday.

'There was a lot of speculation over my future last year but the club has shown faith in me by giving me a new contract and it shows I’m committed,' said Dawson.

'It’s a squad game and I don’t expect to play every match, but having that competition is important.'

Steed Malbranque, though, yesterday became the third Spurs player to join Sunderland when he signed in a £4m deal.

The midfielder, 28, has agreed a four-year contract and will link up with former team-mates Pascal Chimbonda and midfielder Teemu Tainio.

However, Spurs defender Younes Kaboul has rejected a move to Wearside and is now likely to join Portsmouth, although Aston Villa are also interested.



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