Jose Mourinho’s preparations for the upcoming Premier League season are well underway as he secures the signing of Ireland defender Matt Doherty from Wolves – with the club announcing the deal in the most unique of ways.
Doherty has been a central figure in Wolves’ resurgence from the third tier of English football to becoming Premier League mainstays with the 28-year-old attacking fullback establishing himself as one of division’s standouts in his position, prompting Mourinho to make a move for the nine-times capped international for the relatively cut-price figure of £14.7 million ($19.6 million).
The move, which was mooted for several days, came amid years-old tweets issued by the Dubliner in which he professed his love for Spurs’ arch-rivals Arsenal.
That fact was referenced in Tottenham’s amusing announcement video for the player, as they showed their new signing scrolling through his Twitter account to delete any tweets mentioning his love for their cross-town rivals, including one in which he professed he “loved” Arsenal “forever and ever and ever.”
The addition of Doherty to the Tottenham squad will likely seal the end of Serge Aurier’s career in London, with the Ivory Coast international linked to a move to Serie A giants AC Milan. Doherty’s path to the first team was further bolstered by the sale of academy graduate Kyle Walker-Peters to Southampton.
Announcing the deal for Doherty, Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho credited the player for his impact on the English game – and said that the “hated” playing against Doherty during his spell with Wolves.
“I hate to play against him so I’m so happy that I won’t play against him. He had an incredible career for Wolves. League One, Championship, Premier League, Europa League, he did everything for them, so job done there,” Mourinho said via the Tottenham Twitter account.
“I know he is leaving there with a lot of pride, but this is a new step for him. He is full of motivation and I am so happy.
“We always want to have the best players and the best possible squad. We are going to have months of competition non-stop, we need a better squad than we had last season.”
Doherty echoed Mourinho’s enthusiasm for the move, telling the press of his pride at joining one of the Premier League’s established heavyweights.
“I’m very proud to be joining such a big club,” Doherty said.
“(They have) the best stadium in the world and possibly the best training ground in the world from what I’ve seen.
“My time at Wolves was fantastic, I haven’t got a bad word to say about the whole club at all. But now I just feel that coming here is going to take my game and my career to the next level. I really feel like with Tottenham now I am really taking a big step forward.”
The first step for Doherty will be to convince the Spurs faithful of his newfound allegiances in North London. After that, the sky is the limit for one of the Premier League’s most battle-tested attacking fullbacks.