Redknapp: I didn’t want Woody to go
TOTTENHAM manager Harry Redknapp has revealed that he did not want to release Jonathan Woodgate – a player he rates as one of England’s best defenders when fit.
Woodgate’s injury-ravaged three-and-a-half year spell at Spurs ended this summer when he was allowed to join Stoke.
The centre-half only made 65 appearances during his time at White Hart Lane, but Redknapp was still keen to keep hold of the 31-year-old.
He was thwarted by Tottenham chiefs, however, who were not convinced that Woodgate deserved another deal, even on a pay-as-you-play basis.
“I wanted to keep Jonathan. I wouldn’t have let him go,” said Redknapp.
“I asked him to come back to train but the secretary said he couldn’t because of the insurance. That was the problem.
“He was convinced he was fit again.
“It was gutting, but I can see the club’s point of view. He had barely kicked a ball in two years.”
An own goal against Sunderland aside, Woodgate has made a good impression at the Britannia Stadium and Redknapp hopes the former England star can get back to his best.
“If he can stay fit he is one of the best. He and Ledley King are up there with the John Terrys and the Rio Ferdinands of the world,” added Harry, who let Peter Crouch and Wilson Palacios join the Potters this summer too.
“I like Crouchy as well. He wasn’t one I was mad to get rid of,” Redknapp said.
“Wilson’s deal was dependent on Crouchy going. I was looking at the time to bring Gary Cahill in and we needed to raise money to do that, and bring in Scott Parker, so we ended up getting around about £20million for the two.”
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