Steven Bergwijn admitted he’s been looking forward to his Tottenham exit for “a year and a half”, and explained why it was imperative he left this summer.
The Dutch winger, 24, returned to the Netherlands when joining Ajax for around £26m last week. Bergwijn became the Amsterdam club’s record transfer in the process and will aim to make up for lost time after his career stalled in north London.
Indeed, Bergwijn was rarely a starter at Spurs under three different managers including Antonio Conte.
Under the Italian, Bergwijn made just one league start last season. A plethora of appearances off the bench were forthcoming, though in 10 instances Bergwijn was given less than 10 minutes to make an impact.
Dejan Kulusevski was an instant hit following his January arrival from Juventus. When Tottenham forked out over £50m to sign Richarlison from Everton in June, the writing was on the wall for Bergwijn.
Now, speaking to Dutch outlet De Telegraaf, Bergwijn has fired a parting shot at his former employer.
The winger admitted he’s been looking forward to his Spurs exit for 18 months. Furthermore, he revealed why his international ambitions with the Netherlands made a summer exit imperative.
Netherlands ambitions front and centre
“I have been looking forward to this for a year and a half,” said the ex-Spurs forward (via Sport Witness).
“I’m glad everything is over, and I’m rid of the uncertainty. Now I have peace in my head.
“I had already dealt with Ajax about my contract, but then the clubs still had to come to an agreement. That was down to me.
“When you’re on holiday, you’re thinking about what will happen. I was away, but I couldn’t relax completely.
“Although I didn’t play enough at Tottenham Hotspur, he (Netherlands manager Louis van Gaal) called me up for the important qualification matches against Montenegro and Norway. He let me play in Montenegro and I was in the starting line-up against the Norwegians.
“It’s just better if I play week in, week out. Physically it is difficult to play three matches a week at the World Cup if you have not made enough minutes at your club.”
Bergwijn exit for the best
Bergwijn would not have got the minutes he desired under Conte next season if last year was anything to go by.
The return of Champions League football may have thrown up a few extra opportunities to feature with rotation now more important.
However, with Harry Kane, Son Heung-min, Kulusevski, Richarlison and Lucas Moura on the books, Bergwijn would not have been higher than sixth choice in the forward line.
Given Spurs recouped almost the same fee they paid PSV Eindhoven in 2020, an exit looks to have benefitted all involved.