Tottenham new-boy Christian Eriksen admits he spurned the advances of Manchester City because he wanted to avoid languishing on the bench.
Eriksen has made an impressive start to life at White Hart Lane, wowing the White Hart Lane crowd on his debut against Norwich and scoring his first goal for the club against Tromso.
The Dane was coveted by many of the Premier League's finest before moving to north London, and he has revealed City were the club that came closest to signing him.
“It took me a while to get to England because I said no a few times,” he told reporters. “Last summer, City really wanted to sign me, but it didn’t feel right.
“Maybe I wouldn’t have played there – I wouldn’t go to a club just to stay on the subs’ bench. “I didn’t feel ready for a league like the Premier League, and now it looks like I moved at the right time.
“A lot of players moved from Ajax in the last year and it gave me responsibility and made me grow. It made me better. It was exciting there, but you have to wait for the right club to come along.
“I’ve read about the history of Tottenham and I have watched games over the years, so I know about the club and how they like creativity.
“I score more goals like the one against Tromso in training and, hopefully, there will be more to come in the games. In terms of who I looked up to, I was a big fan of Francesco Totti.
“Firstly, because I played a lot of Football Manager, which I’m good at, but also in real life. Later on, I looked up to Michael Laudrup, the coach of Swansea. He was probably the one I loved the most, actually.”
Andre Villas-Boas admits he is delighted to have Eriksen within his ranks, and believes the playmaker will be able to settle into life in English football very quickly.
“For such a young player, he is extraordinary,” he added. “We all know adapting to the Premier League is difficult, but he has already proved we have a mature player who can adapt very, very quickly.”
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