Radu Dragucin has revealed why he turned down Bayern Munich to join Tottenham Hotspur.
Tottenham drew 2-2 with Manchester United in the 21st round of the 2023-24 Premier League (PL) at Old Trafford in Manchester, England, at 1:30 a.m. ET on Friday. The result leaves Tottenham fifth in the league with 12 wins, four draws, and five losses (40 points) and United seventh with 10 wins, two draws, and nine losses (32 points).
Dragucin made his Tottenham debut, starting on the bench while fellow winter signing Timo Werner started. The addition of Dragucin was encouraging for Spurs, who needed a center back. The Romanian center back comes from Juventus. When his playing time was limited at Juventus, he spent time on loan with Sampdoria and Salernitana to improve his skills. His next stop was Genoa. After a loan spell last season, he completed a permanent move to Genoa. In his two seasons with Genoa, he became one of the most sought-after center backs in the Italian Serie A.
With Cristian Romero and Micky van der Penn constantly at risk of injury, Eric Dier off to Bayern Munich and Ashley Phillips out on loan to Plymouth Argyle, Tottenham made a move for Dragucin. Munich tried to hijack Dragucin. Munich needed a center back as much as Tottenham did. Matthijs de Ligt and Dayo Upamecano were frequently injured, leaving only Kim Min-jae to play at an abusive level.
Dragusin rejected the Munich offer and went to Tottenham. “Our player decided to respect and believe in Tottenham’s commitment,” said Dragusin’s agent. Everyone was shocked that he turned down Munich.” “Of course, he thought about the offer from Munich. We made the decision in the morning and it’s not easy to make such a choice. Munich wanted him strongly, but the official offer came last night. There was more money in Munich, but he said this was the right step for his career. We thought about it all night, I couldn’t sleep at all. Napoli and AC Milan both wanted him, but Dragusin has dreamed of playing in the PL since he was a kid,” said a source behind the scenes.
At Tottenham, Dragucin started off the bench and came on in the 40th minute. He took over on the left side of defense after the injury-plagued van der Penne went off. Although he didn’t play for long, he made his Tottenham and PL debut at Old Trafford, raising expectations.
Speaking to the UK’s Evening Standard, Dragusin was asked why he turned down Munich, and he replied: “I had offers, but I felt Tottenham was the right choice for me. I had a really good conversation with the coach, Enze Postecoglou.” “I can say that I decided to join Tottenham after hearing about their interest in me. I gave it a lot of thought and considered all aspects, and I think it’s the best choice for my career. Coach Postecoglou told me that he wanted me to join the club, that he liked the way I play and that he thought I would fit in well with the team. That definitely helped me, and as soon as I spoke to the coach, I felt a really good connection,” he said.
“Tottenham were interested in me a month before the transfer window opened. Tottenham was the right choice for me. I really believe in Tottenham, and with the amazing stadium and my teammates, I knew it was an environment where I could develop. I want my team to be at the top of the league. My dream was to play in the PL and that’s why I’m here now. I think everything is on a good track. I felt that joining Tottenham could be very beneficial for me. I love the way the PL is played, the physicality, strength, speed, and aggression.”
Dragusin needs to compete. With Romero and van der Penn all back, he’ll need to compete for consistent playing time. “When you compete like that, you grow and improve,” Dragusin said. I believe in myself and that’s how I’ve been playing soccer. There will be a lot of sacrifices. I have to strive to improve in training and I will never stop working to become a top-level player. My debut was amazing and I will continue to be in stadiums like this. I was screaming internally and it was a great feeling,” he said, showing his confidence.