French legend’s influence stopped Tottenham target from moving last summer - report

Reports from Spain claim Zinedine Zidane played a vital role in keeping Jese away from interested parties such as Tottenham Hotspur.

Last summer, in the midst of the Gareth Bale saga, Tottenham Hotspur were linked with a number of Real Madrid players – some as potential makeweights in the deal to take the Welshman to the Bernabeu, and others as standalone transfers.

Reports of one such deal claimed Spurs were interested in forward Jese Rodriguez – a star of Real’s B team and a player nearing the end of his contract.

Having been quoted in the Spanish media as saying he needed game-time and was unsure where his future lay, a transfer to White Hart Lane became more likely. That was until he signed a new deal and, ultimately, began to get chances in Carlo Ancelotti’s first-team.

And now reports from Spain claim both the Italian coach and Real’s sporting director Zinedine Zidane feel Jese is ready to challenge Karim Benzema for the role as Real’s spearhead.

Newspaper El Confidencial reports that it was in fact Zidane who persuaded Real president Florentino Perez not to sell Jese last summer, whilst simultaneously helping the player calm is temperament and ensuring he focused on improving his game.

Referring to Zidane’s “education” of the young forward, the report states that Jese is now seen as the first alternative to Benzema and, given the 20-year-old’s recent performances, the Frenchman may well be looking over his shoulder in the months to come.

Given the latest reports, it appears Jese could well have been a Spurs player by now, had a legend of the game not stepped in and put his faith in someone now beginning to repay that faith.

image: © cogocogo

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