Spurs signing Clinton Njie: I never considered late switch to Arsenal
Tottenham’s new signing Clinton Njie says he never considered switching to Arsenal after the Gunners made a late move to hijack his move to White Hart Lane.
The Cameroon international arrived in London last week to sign for Spurs but, as fans waited for confirmation of the £12million transfer, rumours emerged that the deal was in doubt.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas then said: “Clinton Njie’s departure is not complete. We have received an offer from another big English club which is complicating things.”
That was thought to be Arsenal and suddenly, having lost Willian to London rivals Chelsea at the 11th hour in 2013, Spurs fans were feeling a horrible sense of deja vu – but Njie’s arrival was announced on Saturday morning.
And, although he was unable to make his debut against Stoke as he waited for a work permit, he was introduced to the crowd at White Hart Lane – along with fellow recruits Dele Alli, Kevin Wimmer, Kieran Trippier and Toby Alderweireld – before kick-off.
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“I was never scared that my transfer to Tottenham would not be confirmed,” said Njie. “I never spoke to Arsenal representatives on the phone -- they simply contacted my agent. My choice was made. I was determined to join Tottenham.
“Here, I will be working under Mauricio Pochettino, a manager who plays youngsters and allows them to progress. On Thursday, after I arrived in London and had my medical tests, he welcomed me and told me he hoped I would be available as quickly as possible.
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“When I arrived in Europe, it was an aim and a dream to play one day in the Premier League. I didn’t think it would come as quickly as it has.”
The versatile Njie scored seven goals and set up a furher seven for Lyon last season, while he has netted six times in 11 games for his country.
He is likely to play in the attacking midfield positions off the striker and Tottenham are now attempting to sign West Brom forward Saido Berahino, with the Baggies announcing on Tuesday that they had rejected an offer from Spurs for the 22-year-old.
Albion chairman Jeremy Peace said: “We have no interest in selling Saido which is what I have told Daniel Levy.”