Nacer Chadli’s decision to spurn the advances of this weekend’s opponents Swansea appears to have paid dividends, not that the attacking midfielder feels he has achieved anything special at Tottenham yet.
The 25-year-old arrived last year from FC Twente during a well-documented flurry of activity in the wake of Gareth Bale’s record-breaking move to Real Madrid.
Like so many of those arrivals, though, Chadli struggled to adapt to life in north London – thanks in no small part to injury – and was offered an escape route by Swansea in January.
However, they were overtures the Belgium international rejected due to his determination to prove his worth at White Hart Lane – something he is certainly making a better first of under Mauricio Pochettino.
That upturn in fortunes means Chadli heads to the Liberty Stadium on Sunday as Tottenham’s top scorer in the Premier League, although he still feels he can make improvements.
“(My form) has been nothing special,” he told Press Association Sport.
“I wanted to stay. That was my first wish. I am here and I do my best for the team.
“Yeah, of course (the first season was frustrating). When you are not fit and you get injured, you comeback and then again your get injured it is very frustrating for everybody.”
This term, no-one has been more frustrated than Tottenham’s fans after a slow, stuttering start to the campaign.
There has been the odd glimpse of the free-flowing football they yearn for, but there has also been many a tepid display, such as the goalless draw at home to Crystal Palace in their last top-flight outing.
It was a performance Chadli knows was not good enough, leading him to underline the need for a more clinical edge.
“It was frustrating,” he said. “Crystal Palace played very well, with good organisation.
“They tried to counter-attack so they did that and they knew they could hurt us like this.
“But I think we had chances to score and we didn’t again, so now we have to take our chance and score more goals.”
Spurs’ task at Swansea has been made all the more difficult by this week’s schlep to Turkey and back.
Chadli started as Spurs were usurped at the top of their Europa League group by Besiktas, where the visitors’ futility in front of goal cost them as they went down 1-0.
“We were pretty solid,” he said after the disrupted Istanbul encounter. “We didn’t give too much away and had good chances.
“We just didn’t score and they did. For the rest, if you see the first 45 minutes we were much better.
“We have to recover as soon as possible. We will be there at the training ground and be ready for Sunday. It is a big game.”
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