By Harry Sykes

Roberto Soldado has revealed his closest friend while he was at Tottenham played for big rivals Arsenal.

The Spurs flop was neighbours with fellow Spain international Santi Cazorla in the exclusive London suburb of Regent’s Park and the two formed a close bond despite the emnity between their clubs.

Soldado, who joined Villarreal last summer, had an unhappy time in his two years at Tottenham, scoring just seven league goals following a £26million move from Valencia.

“I think in the end what let me down at Tottenham was my head; for whatever reason, it wasn’t right,” Soldado told the Guardian. “Perhaps my transfer fee was too big, [or] maybe the expectations I put on myself put me over the edge in a sense. I found I was getting easy chances on the pitch and I’d miss them; the tiniest things would go against me.”

In his first season Soldado lived in Hampstead and in his second near Regent’s Park, where he received a lot of support from Cazorla. “It’s impossible not to have a laugh with him,” Soldado added to the Guardian, and insists that he liked London, even though the food was “different”.

Soldado had a frustrating night as he continued his poor record against English opposition in Villarreal’s Europa League semi-final against Liverpool on Thursday night.

The former Tottenham striker was substituted after 73 minutes of the first leg clash in Spain, which ended in a 1-0 win to the home side following a late Adrian Lopez goal.

Soldado, whose role at Villarreal is that of a withdrawn second striker, had the same influence on the game that he did for many when at Spurs.

The 30-year-old had two first-half shots but could do little to unhinge a Liverpool defence that was superbly marshalled by Dejan Lovren and Kolo Toure.

The Spain international failed to add to his eight-goal tally for Villarreal this season, which has been complemented by 13 assists from his new playmaker role.

In other Tottenham news, Mauricio Pochettino is weighing up four options as he considers how to replace the banned Dele Alli for Spurs’ title run-in.