Dembele hints cultural reasons were behind Tottenham exit

Mousa Dembele has given an insight into his decision to leave Tottenham for Guangzhou R&F in the Chinese Super League – and his reasons may, perhaps, come as a surprise.

The 31-year-old, who would have been out of contract this summer, signed a three-year deal to join Guangzhou for a fee believed to be £11million last month – ending a near seven-year stint in north London.

However, recent seasons have seen him struggle with countless injuries and an ankle knock this term meant that his last appearance for Mauricio Pochettino’s men came on November 3 at Wolves.

And when the chance to move to China came about, there were plenty who simply suggested Dembele was looking to protect his financial gains, with his career seemingly on the wind-down.

However, after Belgian football expert Kristof Terreur, who has covered Dembele’s career closely, claimed that injuries were at the forefront of his decision to leave, the player himself has now spoken about the transfer and said the move was due to his wish to try “something different” and because he is “open-minded”.

Dembele said: “I’m a social guy I think. I’m not too serious. I don’t like to be too serious. I think off the pitch I can have a laugh with everyone.

“I like to see myself as open-minded. That is one of the reasons I wanted to come to China. I wanted to see something different.

“I wanted to have a different experience in life. I heard already there is good food in Guangzhou. I will try this a lot. I think my family will enjoy it as well here.”


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