Van der Vaart had a message for those players who might wish to leave Spurs if they fail to secure Champions League football.
Gareth Bale and Luka Modric would be targeted again but Van der Vaart told the London Evening Standard: “You can’t be arrogant and say, ‘Listen, I want to play in the Champions League.’ We have to show this year that we deserve it and we have to help the club get back there.
“Every young player would want to play for Barcelona, United, Real Madrid; everybody understands if they want to go. But I’ve been there and I had a great time but now I’m happy here. Failing to reach the Champions League wouldn’t be a big reason to leave.
“I love to play in Europe, the Europa League, too, which is why I was annoyed earlier in the season when I wasn’t included in the squad for that competition. The Champions League is great but it’s not the most important thing for me.
“I’m not here because it’s a good life. I want to get involved in this team and be an important player for many years. I want to achieve something and I’m happy because I feel the club want what I want.
“I am convinced I can achieve my ambitions here, 100 per cent sure. I have had some good performances but it depends on winning things whether you are a legend or not. I’d like to be a leader and I still think I can do more, because when you have a few little injuries, you’re busy with your own performance and it’s difficult to be a leader.”