Of all the homegrown midfielders to have graced English football over the years, very few possessed the raw talent that Matt Le Tissier did.
His technique was almost flawless and he made a habit of coming up with seemingly impossible moments on the pitch, scoring wonder goals with astonishing regularity.
Apart from his ridiculous natural ability, Le Tissier is also remembered as one of the most loyal players in recent history, with his name being almost synonymous with Southampton.
The English midfielder was a ‘one-club man’ who spent his entire career with the Saints despite the club’s failure to win any major trophies during his time on the South Coast.
However, things could have turned out a lot different for Le Tissier, as the former midfielder has now admitted that he came close to a move to Spurs when he was just 21-years-old.
When asked why he didn’t leave Southampton, the 51-year-old told Sporting Life: “There was no preconceived plan to stay at Southampton. I have never been a person for planning years ahead. I live day to day and barely think about a week or two ahead, so it was never the plan.
“I came very close to joining Tottenham when I was 21, the season I won the PFA Young Player of the Year award. I was about to be married at the end of the season. For varying reasons I changed my mind, as I told Tottenham I was going to join them initially – it wasn’t the right time at that point.
“Tottenham were the only one who I ever spoke to, in terms of speaking to their advisors and legal team. I did not speak to Terry Venables at the time. Although he did want to speak to me, but I refused.
“The same thing happened with Glenn Hoddle at Chelsea in 1985. Given they both went on to become England managers, it was not probably the best career choice! My agent told me he had been in contact with Chelsea, Liverpool and Monaco around the same time as Tottenham too.
“There was always speculation, but Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea are the ones which my agent spoke to me about. You read the speculation – Blackburn and Newcastle were also sniffing around. Rumours were aplenty that I had been spotted here there and everywhere, flying up to Newcastle and back to Southampton in the same day. There were interesting theories flying around at that point.
“Most of it was speculation, and to be honest it never affected me. I took it for what it was. I knew if there was any serious interest, I would get a call from my agent. It is quite flattering to read in the papers, and it is good for your ego and confidence, but I always took it with a pinch of salt.”
Spurs Web Opinion
What an amazing coup it would have been for us had we managed to sign Le Tissier when he was just a youngster. I have always felt that he was a typical Spurs player who would have been loved by the White Hart Lane crowd. Perhaps both Le Tissier and the Tottenham would have benefited mutually and been much more successful in the nineties had they linked up, but we will never know for sure.
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