Former Tottenham Hotspur defender Pascal Chimbonda has revealed he didn’t want to leave the club back in 2008.
The star had a couple of spells with Spurs, firstly after signing from Wigan Athletic in 2006 and then after re-signing for the club following a season with Sunderland.
During his first stint, Chimbonda became something of a cult hero at White Hart Lane, and was admired for his commitment to the cause.
In an interview with Get French Football News, the 1-cap former France international admitted he would rather not have left the club in 2008 to join the Black Cats.
He said: “Well in the first place I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to leave Tottenham. But I also wanted to play. And they signed a right-back and it was certain that he was going to be played ahead of me.
“So I left, but then it was going badly at Tottenham – they had a terrible start to the season – and in December the coach called and asked me if I was keen to return. I said yes and I came back. But Tottenham is like Wigan – it’s one of the clubs that I carry in my heart.”
Chimbonda was an enigmatic character and a number of Spurs fans were sorry to see him leave the club to join Sunderland.
In the 2006/07 and 2007/08 seasons he made 33 and 32 league appearances respectively and certainly impressed with some all-action displays from full-back.
Tottenham have had better right-backs before and after him, but he remains a popular figure in the eyes of fans, who will surely have some sympathy with him reading his interview.
Chimbonda did return to the club in January 2009, but only made five appearances before being sold again to Blackburn Rovers after the club had signed both Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton from Sheffield United.