Matt Doherty has admitted that it was Jose Mourinho who convinced him to make the switch from Wolves to Tottenham in the summer of 2020.
Doherty has had a mixed time of it since his switch to Spurs two and half years ago, with the right-back failing to impress in his first season at the club.
After a slow start to the 2021-22 season, the Republic of Ireland international proved his quality at right wing-back role in the second half of the campaign until he went down with a knee injury in April.
That injury prevented the 30-year-old from getting starts in the first couple of months of this campaign but Doherty returned to the side in place of Emerson Royal over recent weeks and impressed.
Doherty has now spoken to the Irish press about his decision to leave Wolves and how Mourinho was one of the main reasons behind the move.
When asked about critics suggesting that the transfer was motivated by money, the right-back told The Irish Independent: “Yeah, it’s easy to say that [it was about money].
“That is a part of it also and it is part of the industry. If someone is here [Doherty places his hand at medium height], then they want to get to here [raising hand to a higher level].
“But first of all, Jose [Mourinho] was the manager and it would’ve been silly to say no to him. And he really wanted me. He told me that I was his number one choice to come in.
“He even said to me that if the chairman came to him and said that he could only have one signing in the summer, I was the only one he wanted. So who would say no to that?”
Doherty also explained that he was keen to test himself at a higher level, and admitted that he would have regretted it had he turned down the chance to join the North London club.
He added: “Spurs are a huge club, the training ground, the stadium, possibly fighting for Champions League football. I had run my course at Wolves.
“I wanted to try and leave that summer anyway, whether it was Tottenham or not. I had been there for so long and would have regretted staying any longer. Every player is different.
“Even when things were not going well, I still didn’t regret it. I was happy to make the step. It’s a bit of an ego thing also, isn’t it? You want to say that you’ve played for a top team.
“Tottenham choose 11 players every week, who are all top players, and you are one of those players. That gives you a good feeling.
“My dad didn’t love the move for me. He would probably have had me stay at Wolves, but how could I say no? I probably could’ve gone back to Wolves and said, ‘Give me a second contract’, but I didn’t want to do that.
“And I saw stuff saying about going back in the January window, but I didn’t want to do that either. I had a great time at Wolves, but I think if I went back…you should never really go back.”
Spurs Web Opinion
Doherty has been unfortunate with how things have gone for him at Spurs. When he has got a run of consecutive starts at right wing-back, he has demonstrated that he has the qualities to do well in that role.
I am hopeful that he will move ahead of Emerson in the pecking order once again over the coming weeks but given how much Conte seems to value the Brazilian, one can never be quite sure.
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