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Thatcher checks in

English Barclays Premiership

Ben Thatcher insists he jumped at the chance of joining Spurs - and with it the chance of winning silverware and a place in the England international set-up.

We completed the signing of the defender from Wimbledon for a fee of L5m this morning, therefore ending a lengthy chase for highly-rated left-back.

Thatcher was expected to sign on Friday, but talks took longer than expected and a deal was finalised over the weekend. The 24-year-old joined his new team-mates for training at Spurs Lodge on Monday and will travel with the squad to Sweden for the pre-season tour.

Click here to listen to the EXCLUSIVE interview with new Spurs signing, Ben Thatcher.

He said: "It's a great move for me and I'm looking forward to the start of the season. It's a massive club, a London club so I wouldn't have to move home, I know a few of the players here and they are going forward. They've spent a few quid this summer and are looking to win things.

"It's been well documented that Tottenham have been after me for a long time obviously that's all I knew - the interest. As soon as it happened, I jumped at the chance."

As for England, he added: "That is my main ambition but at the moment I'm just concentrating on winning a place in Tottenham's first team, playing well and if I'm consistently playing well in a good side like Tottenham, in the Premier League, I've got half a chance."

The Swindon-born defender will be with a number of familiar faces in the dressing room at the Lodge. Neil Sullivan, Chris Perry and Oyvind Leonhardsen have all played with Thatcher at Selhurst Park and will smooth the settling in process.

Thatcher made his mark at George Graham's former club Millwall between 1992 and 1996, his form persuading Joe Kinnear to part with L1.7m for his services. During his time at Wimbledon the combative defender made 99 appearances, scoring four goals.

His displays in the Premiership attracted the attention of a number of clubs and he has been linked with a move to a bigger stage for some time. Many observers felt that Thatcher should have been included in the England squad by now, especially given the dearth of quality left-sided players.

It is a theory that director of football David Pleat concurs with. "We see Ben as a potential England left-back," he predicted after agreeing a fee with Wimbledon on Thursday.

Photographs courtesy of Action Images Ltd.
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