Tottenham defender Kieran Trippier is still glad he turned down other offers to move to White Hart Lane despite his lack of first-team chances.
Trippier joined Spurs for £3.5million from Burnley last summer, but Kyle Walker remains Mauricio Pochettino’s first choice right-back.
However, Trippier impressed when handed an opportunity against Watford two weeks ago and is likely to play against Leicester City in the FA Cup third round on Sunday.
Pochettino has earned a reputation for launching the careers of young English players and Trippier, now 25, was impressed by the Argentine from their very first meeting.
“There were a couple of clubs who were interested, but as soon as I sat down with the gaffer here, that was it. I had made my decision,” Trippier said.
“The way he spoke to me, the way he wanted me to play. He wanted me to come here.
“It was just the way he talked and said how much he liked me as a player. He had watched me, everything he said.
“I just knew straight away I wanted to come here. He is an unbelievable manager.
“I just didn’t have to think twice after I had met him. There was never a 50-50 choice.”
Trippier played all but five minutes of Burnley’s 38 Premier League games last season, but first-team football has been harder to come by at Tottenham.
Born in Bury, Trippier started out at Manchester City’s academy but left when it became clear first-team opportunities would be limited after Sheikh Mansour’s takeover in 2008.
A successful season at Barnsley saw Burnley come knocking, and despite more time again on the substitutes’ bench at Spurs, Trippier has no regrets.
“It was a great opportunity for me, the chance to play Europa League football,” Trippier said.
“I played against Tottenham four times and everything about them is a big club. I thought it was the right move for me personally to come here. And things have gone really well so far.
“I expected the competition. I knew Kyle Walker before I even came here. I knew it would be tough competing for the right-back spot.
“When I am called upon, I will just try my best and give 100 per cent. Kyle has been doing really well this season so all I can do is do my best when I get my chance. ”
Tottenham’s game against Leicester is the first in a double-header, with the sides meeting again at White Hart Lane in the league on Wednesday.
Pochettino is expected to rotate his team on Sunday, but recent form makes them genuine contenders to win the FA Cup, a trophy they have not lifted since 1991.
“I watched it all the time when I was a young lad,” Trippier said. “It was always a cup I wanted to win. Now I am at a club like Tottenham who can win it.”