Heurelho Gomes says Franco Baldini wanted him to stay at Tottenham

Heurelho Gomes

Gomes left Tottenham for Watford last summer, and has excelled since.

Gomes has been exceptional for Watford since signing for the Hertfordshire club on a free transfer last summer, but he has told the Standard that Tottenham did not want to let him leave, as Franco Baldini offered him a contract extension.

The Brazilian goalkeeper said: “Tottenham did not release me. They offered me a two-year contract. I have never before said they offered me a contract. You can go and speak to Franco Baldini. He said, ‘please don’t go. I need you around here’. They were going to release Brad Friedel. I said, ‘no I prefer to play in the first team.’ I was always second to Hugo Lloris. Maybe I upset them because I said no. So, of course, they put it about that they were going to release me.”

Gomes left Spurs at the end of his contract, and quickly established himself as a fan favourite at Watford. He was a central part of their promotion to the Premier League last term, and has played all 10 games this season, conceding 10 goals and keeping four clean sheets.

He is a truly top class goalkeeper, and will play a vital role if Watford stay in the top flight this season, and Tottenham actually wanted to keep him around rather than seeing him leave last summer.

Franco Baldini, then director of football, offered him a two-year contract to stay at White Hart Lane, despite the fact that Gomes had spent part of that season away from the club on loan.

He was a comical figure at Spurs in his latter career there, and he has admitted that he was not going to stay if only playing a back-up role. He is still at the top of his game, as his Watford form has shown, and at 34-years-old, Gomes still has a few years ahead of him yet.

He would have been wasted if he had stayed on Tottenham’s bench, and Watford are the team to have benefited from Gomes’ decision to starting playing competitive football again.

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