Tottenham close in on Willian and Lamela
New Tottenham man Etienne Capoue believes Spurs can offer him the “step forward” in his career that he would have missed should have chosen to joins the club’s Premier League rivals – Cardiff City.
Having emerged from Toulouse's youth academy to become a cornerstone of the Ligue 1 side and a much-admired French international, Capoue, 25, rejected overtures from Premier League newcomers Cardiff in favour of inking a five-year deal at White Hart Lane where he feels his ambitions will be better served.
"Cardiff wasn't a new stage in my career for me. I really wanted to make a step forward. Tottenham allowed me to do that, but not Cardiff," the midfielder, reportedly the subject of a €12 million bid from the Welsh club last month, told football365.fr.
"I took the decision to play in a very attractive league. Because the Premier League is 'the' championship in Europe. I really wanted to go to England, and couldn't turn down the chance to go to Tottenham. They showed me that they really wanted the transfer, and that they really wanted me in the team. I wanted to sign here."
Capoue helped Andre Villas-Boas' men to a 1-0 victory over Crystal Palace after being given his Premier League baptism after 56 minutes.
However, his international and Spurs team-mate, keeper Hugo Lloris, made a more significant contribution with a number of high-class stops to keep his club's London rivals at bay.
"Hugo's the best goalkeeper in the world. In any case, that's what I think. He proves it every weekend. What he does during games is really exceptional, and it reassures the team," Capoue explained.
"I was happy to come on and to have given a little extra to the team. It did me good to play with my team-mates in the league. I feel good, because the players and the staff have really made me feel at home. I've really felt a great team spirit.
“Also, there's competition, but it's healthy competition, because the players help each other. I've felt that personally, and it's very good for our season. Frankly, my welcome was the best. They immediately got me into things. I needed to adapt quickly, and I tried to give everything for my first game."
Three points from their maiden 90 minutes marks the ideal start to a season in which Spurs, reinforced this summer at much expense, are seeking to better last season’s fifth placed finish and avoid the bitter disappointment of missing out on Champions League football.
"The objective is above all collective. We want to have a great season, and reach the Champions League. Personally, I want to play in as many matches as possible and bring to the team my qualities," said Capoue, who believes his chances of establishing himself at international level will not have been harmed by his decision to cross the Channel.
"I said to myself that if I have a good season at Tottenham, I'll have a chance of going to the World Cup in Brazil."