Stambouli reveals why he chose Tottenham move over Europa League opponents Fiorentina

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Benjamin Stambouli has admitted that he snubbed Fiorentina in favour of Tottenham.

Tottenham have won seven of their last ten games in the Premier League, and head into Thursday's Europa League clash with Fiorentina in great form.

After finishing second in Group C, Tottenham advanced into the last 32 of the Europa League following a tricky group, which involved Besiktas, Partizan Belgrade and Asteras Tripolis.

Now, they are set for a meeting with Italian side Fiorentina, who lie fourth in the Serie A table following Sunday's 3-1 win over Sassuolo.

Fiorentina have a number of former Premier League players in their squad, including Micah Richards, David Pizarro, Alberto Aquilani, Stefan Savic and Mohamed Salah - but one Tottenham player chose White Hart Lane over a move to Florence.

French midfielder Benjamin Stambouli joined Spurs from Montpellier last summer, and while he has largely played behind the likes of Nabil Bentaleb and Ryan Mason, he's contributed in his debut season under Mauricio Pochettino.

However, he had the chance to join Fiorentina too - and told the London Evening Standard that he chose Spurs because the Italians just aren't at the same level, with English football now much bigger than Italian football, with Serie A's dominance from the 1990's and early 2000's now over.

"Tottenham are a great club in the world now," said Stambouli. "In some ways, Fiorentina still are but, in terms of prestige, I don’t think they’re at the level of Tottenham. Let me make it clear that I’m not talking about the ability of the two teams on the pitch. We will see if we can beat them in this tie. As I had the possibility to go to Fiorentina, perhaps it’s destiny that we’re playing them now.

"When a club like Tottenham come to you, you can’t refuse. I could adapt easily because there were a lot of French players here, so I knew it would make things easier."

"Is the Premier League better than Serie A? To me it is, now. ‘Calcio’ (Italian football) used to be the best in the world. I remember the years Zinedine Zidane played for Juventus. I think things have changed and the Premier League is the best competition in the world. I’m enjoying it a lot and I’m looking to reach a good level," he added.

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