Matt Doherty has admitted that he was initially supposed to join Atletico Madrid on loan before Tottenham changed their mind at the last moment.

Spurs’ decision to terminate Doherty’s contract on January transfer deadline day allowed him to sign for Atletico on a free, which came as a major surprise to many Spurs fans.

Matt Doherty

Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images

Football.London revealed last month that the Tottenham players were also left surprised by the decision as the Irishman was a popular member of the changing room.

The report explained that the North London club were initially planning on loaning Doherty to Atletico without an option to buy but decided to terminate his contract once they realised they were at the limit of the number of first-team players that a club is allowed to loan out (8).

The 31-year-old has now admitted that he is enjoying his time at the Spanish capital and could not turn down the opportunity to work with a coach of the calibre of Diego Simeone.

Doherty told The Independent: “It’s going well for me in Spain.

“It’s a different experience completely, different culture, different preparation for games. I’m enjoying my time there even though I’m not playing that much.

“The reason I left was… well, initially it was just to go on loan for the rest of the season and then obviously we had the problems with too many loans, so then it was a case of I couldn’t really say no to that type of experience and a manager of his calibre.

“I always like to challenge myself and be uncomfortable at times and it was a similar case there.

“I didn’t have long to think about it, but the time I did have, I just couldn’t say no to that opportunity.

“I am there until the end of the season and I am just using it as a learning experience. I am improving by training with world-class players every day.

“I am using the six months I have there to try and get better, to try and understand the game better and improve my overall game.”

Spurs Web Opinion

The fact that Spurs ended up sacrificing a transfer fee for Doherty, owing to a basic administrative error regarding the number of players out on loan, is quite mind-boggling.

It certainly does not reflect well on the club’s hierarchy. 

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