Tottenham Hotspur are set to meet up with an old friend as they prepare to take on West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns tomorrow. The Baggies bought Nacer Chadli from Spurs this summer for £13m, a club record transfer for the Midlands club. Now Chadli will take on his old club and a few of his Belgian friends and teammates for the first time since leaving Spurs.
Mauricio Pochettino was asked in a press conference about Chadli’s departure, and indicated that while the Belgian attacking midfielder was still in his plans, leaving Spurs for another club was initiated by Chadli himself.
“He asked me before the end of last season if he had the facility to go and play more for another team.
“I said to him ‘you are in my plans but if you want to leave and it’s the right club and the right price then ok, it’s not a problem’.
In the end he chose to go to West Bromwich.”
Some Spurs fans sighed in relief when he was moved on this summer, but there’s little doubt that Chadli is a Premier League quality midfielder. However, that’s probably not enough to get significant minutes for a team in the Champions League who has ambitions to challenge for a Premier League title. Chadli clearly saw the writing on the wall and was ready to make a move for the sake of his own career.
And truthfully, it was a good move for him. Chadli has looked motivated and happy since making the switch, bagging three goals and two assists since his debut against Bournemouth on September 10.
His manager has also been happy with the way he’s come out of the gate here in the early goings, with Tony Pulis praising Chadli for his game and his attitude.
"Nacer has done well. We have been really pleased with him. Not just with how he has played but also with the way he has mixed with the group.
"Nacer has a good manner about him and the group look up to him. Let's hope he keeps scoring goals."
While Spurs fans are hoping he pulls one of his infamous disappearing acts against Tottenham on Saturday, narrative implies that he’s going to be motivated to do well against his old team and could be one of Pulis’ primary goalscoring threats.