When footballers are quoted in newspapers these days you have to wonder if they are talking through the mouths of smooth talking agents. Netherlands midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has joined Tottenham Hotspur just two weeks after claiming it would be a step down to play for any Premier League club except Manchester United. It begs the question of whether he was being genuine or if was he just giving a ‘come on’ from his agent in a desperate attempt to attract an offer from manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
The Real Madrid midfielder’s £8 million move was finally ratified yesterday after technical problems held up the deal before Tuesday’s deadline. van der Vaart was quoted as saying “I could never play for another club in Spain. If you are leaving Real Madrid there is only one club you can join that is not a step down and that’s Manchester United.”
But even though Old Trafford is miles away from White Hart Lane, 27 year old van der Vaart was delighted with his move to London “I want to play again and if possible every week with a beautiful club, I’m totally happy” he, or maybe his agent, has been quoted as saying.
“The fact Tottenham were playing in the Champions League influenced my decision a great deal although I know I have to earn my place in the team because they have a number of sensational players, I’m proud of this transfer.”
You have to wonder what happened to footballers who had no hesitation in saying what they really meant in previous years without the need to have their words vetted by agents. It also raises the question of how badly Ferguson REALLY wanted the Dutchman.
Would van der Vaart have been good value at £8 million?