According to a report from The Athletic, Matt Doherty was initially happy to stay at Tottenham Hotspur and fight for his place before moving to Atletico Madrid on transfer deadline day.

It was a bizarre deadline day for Doherty and Spurs, with the 31-year-old originally being lined up for a six-month

Matt Doherty Antonio Conte

Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

loan move to Atletico Madrid. In the end, the player joined the La Liga side on a permanent basis after his contract was terminated by Tottenham (Sky Sports).

Spurs already had eight players out on loan outside of the UK, which is the limit for international loans in a season. The club was left with no choice but to mutually agree to a termination of Doherty’s contract in order to facilitate the move to Spain (Football.London’s Alasdair Gold).

With Pedro Porro finally becoming a Spurs player on deadline day (Sky Sports), someone had to make way in the right wing-back area and Doherty was ultimately the one to depart. Fellow right-back Djed Spence also left the club, joining French side Stade Rennais on loan until the end of the season (BBC).

The latest from The Athletic suggests the decision to move on was not an easy one for Doherty to make.

Apparently, Doherty is thought to “have had concerns over dropping everything to make a potentially life-changing move abroad,” especially given the timing of the switch and his family situation in London.

The report claims Doherty would have been happy to stay at Spurs and fight for his place in the team with Porro and Emerson Royal, with the Irishman “believing he would still earn appearances” in Antonio Conte’s side.

In the end, Doherty opted to head to Spain on the advice of family and friends, and particularly his agent, Valdir Cardoso.

By the sounds of it, Doherty saw the move as “too good and exciting an opportunity to turn down,” and expected to get more minutes on the pitch with Atletico than he would at Spurs.

Spurs Web Opinion

I can totally understand Doherty’s apprehension to make the move as it’s such a drastic change from where he was with Spurs, but it should be a very good opportunity for him. At Spurs, he was struggling for minutes anyway, and that was before Porro’s arrival, so that situation was unlikely to get any better now.

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