Tottenham face Swansea this weekend as Gylfi Sigurdsson comes face to face once again with the man who sold him.
Mauricio Pochettino was just a few weeks into the role as Spurs manager when it was decided that Sigurdsson, a £9m signing from Hoffenheim two years later, was surplus to requirements and was thus sold to Swansea with Michel Vorm and Ben Davies going in the opposite direction.
Since then the Icelandic international has become something of a talisman for the Swans, one of the few shining lights in an otherwise poor season for Bob Bradley’s side.
As Pochettino prepares to meet is former player at White Hart Lane on Saturday, he admitted in his pre-match press conference that perhaps he acted too rashly in letting Sigurdsson go – especially since seeing how the 27-year-old has developed at the Liberty Stadium.
“When we arrived at Tottenham he was a player that was difficult to assess. The decision was when we were in Seattle to play the first friendly game.
“I remember he was in the starting XI to play that match and I had a call to say ‘ok, the agreement is done with Swansea’. It was difficult to assess him.
“In that moment we had 34 senior players and to take the decision, it was too difficult to assess because we did not have time enough.
“I think after he moved to Swansea and we saw his development at Swansea, he was a perfect player for us. But in that moment it was the club decision and his decision to move to Swansea and find another way.
“Every time we meet him and see him he shows his quality, not only as a player but like a man. All the people here talk very highly about him. It’s a shame but sometimes in football you never know what will happen in the future.”
Quotes via The Mirror
However, Pochettino stopped short of stating that he regretted sanctioning the sale, arguing now (as he did then) that the squad was bloated and Sugurdsson was an unfortunate casualty in the mass cull that saw over a dozen players leaving the club either on a permanent or temporary basis.
“There is no regret. When you find in the club 34 players it’s difficult to assess them all in the first few weeks, and when the club and player decide to move, there is nothing you can do about that.”
In many respects it worked out for Pochettino in the end. The attacking midfield gap in the squad allowed for the rapid progress of Dele Alli, integrated into the first team twelve months after Sigurdsson had departed.
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