Routledge proud to be a Spur
By Tom Latchem
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Wayne Routledge revealed he joined Tottenham because they are on the verge of greatness.
Wayne Routledge revealed he moved across London to join Tottenham because he believes they are on the verge of greatness.
The England Under-21 international, 20, left Crystal Palace at the start of July when he refused to sign an extension to his existing deal and Spurs stumped up £1.5 million to avoid the obligatory tribunal for young out-of-contract players.
Palace were relegated from The Premiership before Routledge made the switch to White Hart Lane, but the ambitious winger insists that had no bearing on his decision to leave the club that nurtured him as a schoolboy.
"In a way it was hard to leave," Routledge told The Independent on Sunday, "because I had been there all my life and it was everything I had ever known.
"But I felt at the time, and for my career, it was necessary for me to try and get a fresh start and experience what new players had to offer.
"I want to do the best I can, like everyone else. Coming here can only help my game.
"I've come to a club who are at the stage of building and expanding and hopefully getting into Europe - which is where a club of this nature should be.
"The squad have improved. There are new players, new talent. So really there's no reason why we cannot do better than last year's ninth position.
"This is such a big club, it is always expanding and the players they have got in are all international class, all international quality, and that is really what I am aspiring to be.
"Being with these players will hopefully mean that I can pick up things and keep on learning and become one of them."
At just 5ft 7ins, the diminutive youngster is not a fan of long-ball tactics and has little choice but to get the ball on the floor and run at defenders.
Tottenham's pedigree as a flowing, passing side was another factor in a list of attractions for Routledge, who added: "I can't jump seven foot in the air or beat people for a header.
"So the fact that Tottenham play football is only going to be good for me. That is what I am about: I like playing football.
"So it was inevitable, the choice to come here."