By Harvey Byrne
West Ham winger Michail Antonio has revealed his heartache when his mother didn’t let him join Tottenham as a youngster.
However, the highly rated attacker now believes the decision has made him a better player today.
Antonio, now 26, was part of the youth setup at Tooting and Mitcham United before moving to Reading.
It is claimed that as a youngster his mum was unsure about letting Antonio join the north London club due to travel problems, as well as concerns about him keeping up with his schoolwork.
“When my mum didn’t let me join Tottenham, it kind of gave me a confidence that I had the ability to do it but then again, it kind of upset me massively,” said Antonio, as quoted by Goal.
“I was in tears, because it was an opportunity to play for a professional team and I didn’t get to do it, but I’m here now so I can’t complain.
“In hindsight it’s definitely made me better as a player. It’s made me more hungry, it’s made me want to go out… it’s made me eager and I’m never satisfied.
“I always want to push on, I always want to keep going because I feel like I’ve missed out on things in the past, so I’m going to keep going until I can’t go anymore.”
Antonio spent loans at his former club, as well as Cheltenham, Southampton, Colchester and Sheffield Wednesday while at Reading, before moving to the Owls in a permanent deal.
He then moved across the Championship to Nottingham Forest, before moving back to London and joining the Premier League with West Ham last summer.
Antonio is highly valued in east London, scoring five goals in 11 encounters in the new campaign and also received his first call-up to the England senior team in September.
In other Tottenham news, Pochettino has revealed that he could be tempted into managing England in the future.