‘It was clear’ – Former Spurs star opens up on decision to leave club

Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
Dom Le Roy

Kevin Wimmer has given an interview to Football.London in which he has opened up on his time at Tottenham Hotspur and the circumstances surrounding his exit from the club.

During the second part of the 2015/16 season, Wimmer seemed to be on his way to being a mainstay at the back for Tottenham for many years to come.

The Austrian deputised masterfully for the injured Jan Vertonghen as Spurs were trying to chase down Leicester City for the Premier League title.

However, the defender’s Spurs career did not offer anywhere close to what it promised as he found playing time hard to by in the subsequent season before leaving the club in 2017.

Even though it did not end the way in which he would have wanted, Wimmer still looks back at his time at Tottenham with fond memories.

The centre-back, who joined from Koln in 2015, admitted that he made up his mind to come to Spurs as soon as he heard the club were interested. 

He told Football.London: “It was already in the wintertime like when in Germany you always have a little break in December and start again in January.

“First the contact came up and my agent at this point called me and said Spurs are interested in me because I played a very good first half to the season in Koln. When I first heard about Spurs’ interest in me it felt like it was not real.

“Koln is an amazing club, a very big club in Germany with big tradition, but when you hear a name like Tottenham it’s different class.

“As a player, it was always my dream to play in the Premier League, and then when you get the chance to play in the Premier League with a team like Tottenham, I didn’t need one second to think about it. I said straightaway of course I want to go there if possible.

“I played a few more games and it got more and more concrete. I went there, we spoke with the manager and everything and I had a very good time with Pochettino there and he made me feel already very welcome.

“That’s why I signed during the season and not in the summer because for me if I get a chance like this I don’t want to waste time. I want to take the chance and that’s why I signed a few months before the summer transfer window opened.”

The 28-year-old, who is now on loan at Karlsruher SC from Stoke City, admitted that he was over the moon with his first season in North London.

However, he insisted that he had little choice but to leave Spurs due to his lack of game time in his second season even though Mauricio Pochettino urged him stay.

Winner added: “Of course you always want to play more but he [Pochettino] said that you train good, everything is ok and keep believing. You have to understand there was so much class in a team like this and that it’s difficult maybe to get game time.

“I said I was expecting more game time than in the first season but the end of the first season was my better year as I thought I came to Tottenham and maybe it takes some time, but because of that run of games for sure it was much, much more successful.

“The second season it was difficult if you only play the FA Cup games or something like this.

“Pochettino said keep working hard and everything but as a player, if you don’t play for a long time it’s always difficult and you are not satisfied with yourself, you always try your best in training but if you don’t play as a footballer it doesn’t make you happy.

“If that happens for a longer period like a few months or for a season and you play like ten games or something in one season, with so many games in England it’s not what makes you happy.

“After my second year he didn’t tell me to leave but for me it was clear as they signed Sanchez the beginning of the third season before I left. For me it was like it would be even harder to get game time and that’s why I made the decision to move to Stoke.”

Spurs Web Opinion 

While one could understand why Wimmer wanted to leave Spurs, perhaps the defender will be questioning his decision to join Stoke City in hindsight. The defender has not been helped by the injury problems over the years he but Stoke going down in his first season at the club was certainly a big blow to his career.

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