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#Men'sFirstTeam #Interview #SergioReguilon

Special interview - Sergio Reguilon on his first year at Spurs

Thu 07 October 2021, 11:30|Tottenham Hotspur

Flying full-back Sergio Reguilon reflected on his first season as a Spur in an exclusive interview in Sunday's official matchday programme against Aston Villa. Updated after our fine 2-1 win, here's what 'Reggy' had to say on life at Spurs, fans returning - and being reunited with friend and former team-mate at Sevilla, Bryan Gil.

It is just over a year since Sergio Reguilon became a Spurs player.

As part of a tandem acquisition from Real Madrid alongside Gareth Bale, Sergio signed for us on 19 September, 2020 during a busy summer in north London. Since making the move, the defender has enjoyed an encouraging first year in the capital, but, eager to always improve, he is demanding more of himself as he looks to kick on this season.

Having arrived in N17 carrying an injury, the Spaniard initially had to bide his time ahead of making his Spurs debut, however, just 10 days after signing, he was back to full fitness and ready to make an impact - and he certainly did that on his debut. Coming as it did against Chelsea in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, the full-back flew into action against the Blues and played a key role as we edged past our London rivals on penalties.

That night, the defender showed his pace, energy and desire to get up and down our left as his lively approach gave us real vigour in attack. It had been a disappointing start for us against Chelsea as we fell behind to a Timo Werner strike yet, in the final few minutes of the clash, we got ourselves back on terms with Sergio picking out Erik Lamela in the box, who fired home to level the scores. We then went on to progress to the fifth round with a 5-4 win on penalties.

That was Reggy’s first of 36 appearances for us across the campaign as he went on to become a key part of our side in a promising first season for the defender in north London.

“When I arrived here, the stadium, training ground - it was all amazing to see,” he smiled as he recalled his first few moments at the Club. “I could also see the squad was full of very good players, talented players while the staff, all the people that work with us in the training ground every day, are very professional in their roles. They put in a lot of good work, and I have a lot of good words for them.

“My first game was then against Chelsea as I was injured when I arrived. I was recovering with the doctor and the physio. It was in the Carabao Cup and we went to penalties. We managed to win it though and that made it a fantastic debut and night for me.

“But now we are in a different situation where we have to give more to be a strong team and if we want to make that next step. I’m hoping we can go forward, do better and achieve.”

Sergio’s reflections came on the back of a rollercoaster first two months in the Premier League this time around - three wins out of three to take us top at the end of August followed by a tough September and three losses on the spin, the third a tough 3-1 loss at Arsenal.

Full credit to the team, then, for turning it around, Reggy continuing his fine start to the campaign on his seventh start out of seven in a 2-1 win against Villa on Sunday. Heung-Min Son lit up the stadium with assists for Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Lucas Moura (the goal credited as a Matt Targett own goal) as, with the backing of the fans, we shifted up a gear to quickly respond to Villa's equaliser in the second half.

It’s so important for us to have the fans close at the games as well as our family and friends. Then you can feel that atmosphere properly

Sergio Reguilon

Throughout his first season in north London, the defender didn’t get to experience our stunning N17 home in its full glory as, with the majority of our games being played behind closed doors, fans were unable to attend. He had fleeting moments to experience supporters in attendance as he played in both of our 2-0 home wins over Arsenal and Royal Antwerp last December in which 2,000 fans were able to cheer us on, but it was not the full experience that our number three was dreaming about when he made the switch to English football 12 months ago.

However, with fans having returned to stadiums this season, Sergio is loving every minute of the opportunity to finally play in front our supporters in a packed-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“In the dressing room last season, all the players were talking about was the fans,” he explained. “They were telling me about the amount of fans that would be going to away games, like Wolves the other week. I was like ‘okay’, I would listen to them, but I wanted to feel that sensation, the feeling of having the fans there, myself.

“I remember the game against Arsenal at home last season, we won 2-0, but only 2,000 fans could be there. I could feel a little bit of the sensation of what it would be like with fans in the stadium from that game. But, this year, when everything started to open, with all the fans and the families able to come to the stadium, it’s now a completely different experience. It’s so important for us to have the fans close at the games as well as our family and friends. Then you can feel that atmosphere properly.”

Talking about the return of friends and family, Sergio had a reunion of his own this summer as old friend Bryan Gil made the move to north London from Sevilla.

In the 2019/20 season, the duo played alongside each other at Sevilla as Sergio spent the season there on loan from Real Madrid. The pair were involved in 10 different matchday squads that season, playing three games together as they linked up down Andalusian club’s left wing. Bryan then headed out on loan to Leganes in the second half of the campaign.

Reunited when the 20-year-old made the move to England this summer, the pair have since been inseparable with Sergio helping Bryan settle into his new home, as well as assisting him with his English.

And on the pitch, the new signing has already been showing glimpses of his potential, especially in his first domestic start, as supporters named him our Man of the Match as we edged past Wolves via a penalty shootout in the Carabao Cup third round.

But, despite his promising displays so far, Sergio knows Bryan will need time to settle into life at Spurs before we begin to see exactly what the young Spaniard is capable of.

“I played with him at Sevilla, and he is a fantastic guy,” the full-back explained. “He’s very young though, so he’s going to need time to settle and get used to his new surroundings. But he is a fantastic professional. He has so much energy about him as well, and you can see that in the way he performs on the pitch.”

By Liam Carson