sport

Stambouli: I couldn't say no

Benjamin Stambouli says he had a lot of transfer options to consider before Tottenham Hotspur came in for him and he did not hesitate to move to White Hart Lane.

The midfielder completed a switch from Montpellier to Spurs on Deadline Day, signing a five-year deal with Mauricio Pochettino's men.

He had an opportunity to go to home town club Marseille, while Fiorentina and Swansea City were also reported to be interested.

Stambouli admits that he was tempted by all three clubs, but as soon as Tottenham entered the running he jumped at the chance and is now looking forward to playing in a different country.

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.

"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 accepts that it will be tough to establish himself in the Tottenham side, but it is a challenge he will relish.

"To be a regular in the first team will be difficult but that is high level football," he added.

"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. I will start training sessions on Tuesday."