Former Tottenham right-back Kieran Trippier has torn into his old side after claiming the club denied him the opportunity to have an injury surgically repaired.
The veteran full-back, 29, was one of the most surprising stories of the 2019 summer transfer window when he made a £20m move to La Liga with Atletico Madrid.
Despite the late change of scenerey, Trippier adapted well and quickly settled in as first choice in his position under the enigmatic Diego Simeone.
However, a nagging groin injury stretching back to his Tottenham days forced him to miss time at the beginning of 2020, and Trippier has slammed his former club for denying him the opportunity to have the surgery.
Speaking to The Mirror regarding his drop off in form at the tailend of his Spurs career, the England international said: “I certainly feel I am a better player than I was last season at Tottenham.
“Last season was a difficult moment because I was struggling with injuries.
“It is not an excuse because I was not hiding about it.
“But I struggled for months with my groin and pelvis and I eventually had surgery just after the winter break in Spain in January.
“Because of the timing of the break and the operation I was only out for a few weeks and now I feel so much better.
“I should have had it last season at Spurs but people didn’t want me to have it then. I had so many issues with the last season there and about the way I performed and struggled with injuries.
“It got to a point where I had to have surgery this season and really I should have had it done last season.
“But there were so many important games… I don’t really want to go into it.”
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho has been told he must offload a Tottenham star if he has any intention of bringing veteran winger Willian to White Hart Lane.
Willian’s contract at Stamford Bridge runs out in the coming months and the Brazilian admitted in April that it would be “unlikely” for him to extend his terms.
Tottenham have been heavily linked with Willian in recent weeks and, according to the Star on Sunday, Spurs boss Jose Mourinho remains keen on reuniting with the player he brought to Chelsea in 2013.