Lewes manager Tony Russell has explained Ollie Tanner’s decision to snub a move to Tottenham was not because of old tweets about Harry Kane or pledging his allegiance to Arsenal.
The Athletic revealed Tottenham were on the verge of agreeing on a deal with the Isthmian League Premier Division club to sign Tanner towards the end of the January transfer window.
However, it was later revealed that Spurs failed to agree personal terms with the 19-year-old (Sky Sports), ultimately confirming his immediate future would lie with Lewes.
This came after old tweets emerged of Tanner mocking Spurs star Harry Kane, while also showing his support to rivals Arsenal (Daily Mail).
Lewes boss Russell has since rubbished any ideas that either of these things had an influence on Tanner’s decision, claiming it was purely down to first-team football opportunities.
Russell told the Sussex Express: “Ollie is a great lad and a great player. He is also very level-headed and that’s really why he has decided against this move.
“Brighton and Spurs both made bids for Ollie and while Brighton’s was silly, one from Spurs was accepted by the club. They, therefore, had permission to speak to him.
“I went with him to watch a Spurs Under-23 game and I think it made him think about what his career path would be if he went there.
“What he’s ended up deciding is that going straight from step three of non-league to a Premier League club would be a step too far.
“In some ways, it could be seen as a dream move but think about it: What would be his chances of getting in their first-team?
“Ollie wants to play first-team professional football and he probably has more chance of that by going to a smaller club. If he does that and does well and a bigger club then comes calling, great.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Tanner appears to be one of the non-league’s brightest talents and ultimately the move just didn’t seem a good fit all-round. Even if its collapse was due to football reasons, there would have been plenty of unhappy Spurs fans due to the old social media posts – even if they were made at a younger age.
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