Martin Jol, there’s a name we haven’t heard for a while, but cast your minds back to 2004 and he was signing on as Tottenham manager.
Jol was at the helm of the Lilywhites for just over three seasons before he got the sack, but he is now back claiming that he helped to develop a number of the current Spurs crop.
According to the Dutch gaffer, Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Christian Eriksen all flourished under his management, despite never having coached them at Spurs.
“I put Jan Vertonghen at the back because he was a midfield player at Ajax. He was at my old club RKC Waalwijk as well. I switched him to play at the back.
“I made Toby Alderweireld a regular player as well and it’s lovely to see that they are probably the best pair in the Premier League now.
“Christian Eriksen made his debut with me when he was 17 at Ajax. He’s probably now one of the best number tens in England.
“I also converted Dembele from an attacking striker/winger into a midfield player. I did that at Fulham. That was the big change in his career and I’m sure he’d tell you the same.
The manager described a conversation he once had with former Spurs striker Dimitar Berbatov, in regards to Mousa Dembele.
“Dembele is probably one of the most gifted players I’ve ever had. I said that to Berbatov.
“I said ‘You were probably my most gifted player I’ve ever seen, but Dembele is a very good second one’. Dembele could play for any top team in the world. He is so strong and he will never lose the ball. He is so good.
“I’ve known him for 15 years. He started as a kid in Belgium and then he came to Holland as a striker. Then he played on the wing. Can you imagine him playing on the right wing, a left-footer on the right?”
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