West Ham newboy Michail Antonio explains why he didn't sign for Spurs despite interest

Assombalonga, Antonio and Le Fondre

West Ham winger Michail Antonio claims Tottenham wanted to sign him as a teenager.

West Ham United winger Michail Antonio has told the Daily Star that Tottenham wanted to sign him when he was just 14 - but his mum blocked the move.

Antonio, 25, starred for Nottingham Forest last season with 14 goals in the Championship, and his exploits at the City Ground led to his deadline day move to West Ham.

Tonight, Antonio could make his Premier League debut against Newcastle United, and the winger has had a long, winding path to the top flight.

The Wandsworth-born wide man started his career with non-league outfit Tooting and Mitcham, before signing for Reading at the age of 18.

Loan moves to Tooting and Mitcham, Cheltenham Town, Southampton, Colchester United and Sheffield Wednesday followed, eventually joining the latter permanently before his move to Forest.

Now, Antonio has opened up about the early stages of his career, admitting to the Daily Star that his mother blocked a move to Tottenham at the age of just 14, prompting heartbreak for Antonio - but now he is in the Premier League, he believes it has all turned out well in the end.

"Tottenham were thinking of signing me but my mum said no. She said education comes first," said Antonio. "I was crying and all sorts. I would have had to travel to north London and probably get home at midnight every night and I had school the next day, she said no."

"It's one of those things where everything happens for a reason and now I've finally got here I can't complain," he added.

With his Premier League debut potentially just hours away, Antonio won't be thinking too much about his failed move to Tottenham - but having finally made the jump to the top flight, he may well wonder how different his career may have been had he been able to make the move to White Hart Lane all those years ago.

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch