Stambouli explains Spurs decision

Last Updated: Tue, 02 Sep 2014 13:07
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Benjamin Stambouli said "you can't refuse a club like Tottenham" after revealing he turned his hometown team Marseille on deadline day.

The midfielder completed a switch from French side Montpellier to Spurs on Monday, agreeing a five-year deal at White Hart Lane.

Stambouli was in demand before the closure of the transfer window and confirmed he rejected the chance to play for Marseille, Italian outfit Fiorentina and fellow Premier League side Swansea before joining Spurs.

The 24-year-old told L'Equipe: "You can't refuse a club like Tottenham. I didn't hesitate. Going abroad was a choice for my personal life. I wanted to discover a new football, another culture.

"When you are born in Marseille, playing there is always difficult. Moreover, I didn't have any guarantee to play in my best position as a midfielder.

"But Marseille made me think a lot. It was not the right moment to go there."

He added: "With Swansea, it was a good opening door to the Premier League, Fiorentina are a competitive team and Marseille are one of the best French teams, so I didn't know what to do. It was very complex. And then Tottenham came along."

Stambouli knows it could be tough to secure a regular role at White Hart Lane, such is the competition for places, but he is looking forward to the challenge.

"To be a regular in the first team will be difficult but that is high-level football," he said. "There are a lot of good players, but that is no problem. I also faced competition at Montpellier before being regularly in the first team.

"I met Mauricio Pochettino on Monday. The coach wants to play a game that I like. I had a very good feeling. I was welcomed just like in a family."

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