Roberto Soldado claims that the reason he failed at Spurs was because of the departure of former manager Andre Villas-Boas.
Soldado was signed for £26million during the ill-fated summer of 2013 for Spurs, in which they sold Gareth Bale for a world-record sum to Real Madrid but replaced him with players who – a couple aside – weren’t very good.
That group included Soldado, who scored 16 goals in 76 appearances after joining from Valencia, but the Spanish striker has blamed his struggles on the fact that the manager who signed him, Villas-Boas, was sacked within half a season.
“I went there with excitement and enthusiasm, thinking that the Premier League offered the perfect football for me,” Soldado told Spanish newspaper AS.
“But it was the opposite. After the departure of Villas-Boas, who was the one who signed me, everything was turned upside down.
“I lost confidence and I had a hard time. But now I think the experience has helped me appreciate and enjoy my life more.”
Soldado was sold by Spurs this summer to Villarreal, for whom he has scored twice and registered three assists to help the Spanish side top La Liga after seven games. The 30-year-old says his renewed happiness is key to his revival.
“After two years in England, the goal was for me to enjoy myself again,” he said. “We’ve only just started, but I’m having a lot of fun.
“It’s vital to be happy in what you do, no question.”