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CLEMENT LENGLET apologised for his English before taking questions – and then spoke our lingo almost flawlessly.

It should come as no surprise given how much better continental Europeans take to learning languages compared to us hopeless Brits.

1Clement Lenglet left Barcelona to join Tottenham on loan in JulyCredit: Getty

But also because a switch to these shores – and specifically Tottenham – has been on the cards for over a year for the Frenchman, so perhaps he has had time to swot up.

Chatting to only two journalists including SunSport during Spurs’ trip to Israel last weekend, Lenglet revealed he had the chance to join the North Londoners last summer but opted against it.

Yet with game-time reduced last term at Barcelona, the amiable centre-back reconsidered last month and completed a season-long loan to Antonio Conte’s side.

Lenglet, 27, revealed: “Last year wasn’t the moment (to come to Tottenham).

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“I was playing a lot with Barcelona the year before (in the 2020-21 season) and I was with a lot of energy to play for Barcelona.

“The last year I played less so it was a good opportunity for me this summer.

“I spoke with Fabio (Paratici, Tottenham’s managing director of football), with the manager, with my team-mates to take the decision. It was very clear for me.”

Conte was keen to sign a new left-sided centre-back earlier this summer with Inter Milan’s Alessandro Bastoni and RB Leipzig’s Josko Gvardiol being top – if pricey – targets.

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In the end they settled on Lenglet on a loan, effectively deferring the opportunity to spend big in that position for a year.

But that does not mean that if the France international is a hit this season that Spurs may not look to sign him permanently.

Although the lack of option or obligation to buy in the loan terms means a deal would have to be thrashed out.

Asked what would happen to him if he is to flourish this term, Lenglet replied: “I don’t know.

“For the moment, I need to play, I need to be good. I hope this happens and if it’s like this, we’ll speak more later. But for the moment I need to work to be a good player.”

Asked if that is what the club had said to him, he replied: “I don’t know. We haven’t spoken like this.”

Lenglet did speak to close mate Hugo Lloris before coming to Spurs, having played with the club captain and goalkeeper for France.

Although Lenglet’s last appearance for Les Bleus came in November.

While he missed out on the last squad altogether after falling out of favour at Barca.

With the World Cup on the horizon, the defender admitted the chance to earn an international recall was a big factor in moving to the Premier League.

He added: “The World Cup is important for me. I missed the last selection.

“I wasn’t in the team. When you are a football player, you want to play these types of competitions. I’m here to play, to help the team to play good and to be better.

“I hope that if I have an opportunity to go with the selection, it will be for me a dream. I’m working for that too.”

Lenglet could make his competitive Spurs debut today (SAT) at home to Southampton.

He will be battling it out for a starting spot with Ben Davies, who has returned to fitness after struggling with an ankle injury during pre-season.

That left side of a back three is the Frenchman’s most likely route to a first-team spot with Eric Dier and Cristian Romero nailed-on starters in Conte’s team.

Lenglet showed an attacking side of his game during Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Roma in Haifa with one mazy run and pinpoint cross in the second half.

And the new-boy, who can also play in the centre of a three, is delighted to be following in the footsteps of compatriots like Thierry Henry in gracing England’s top flight.

Speaking about his tactical role, Lenglet added: “It depends on the game.

“Against Roma I think we needed this in my position high up the pitch to attack the space. I tried to help the team with my run and my cross. We didn’t score a goal but I tried to help the team.

“If we played against a 4-3-3, it could be different.

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“I have seen the Premier League since I was very young, I saw (Didier) Drogba, (Frank) Lampard, Steven Gerrard, Thierry Henry too.

“A lot of big players shining in this league. It’s a beautiful league to watch on the TV and I am very happy to be here to fight in this moment.”

News Source: the-sun.com

Tags: football premier league i don’t know don’t know what to know the premier league clement lenglet opportunity for the moment thierry henry the chance the world cup the world cup last summer this summer centre back

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Jim Irsay Clearly States Colts Goals For 2022 Season

Getty Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has high expectations for the 2022 season.

It’s every team’s goal each season to win the Super Bowl. Of course, not every team will come out and make that objective public.

But as the owner of the Indianapolis Colts, Jim Irsay hasn’t been one to shy away from providing a sound bite. Irsay made it clear while appearing in front of reporters at training camp on August 17 that the Colts’ 2022 season is mainly about three things — Tennessee, finally “winning the division” again, and capturing another Super Bowl title.

“It’s to go and get that next Lombardi Trophy,” Irsay said to reporters. “Since 2000, we’re the fourth winningest team in the National Football League, with just three in front of us.

“That’s something to be said over such a long period of time … But now is the time to create another era.”

The Colts haven’t won the AFC South since 2014. Only five teams in the AFC have a longer division title drought.

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All ‘About Tennessee’

Irsay isn’t a coach, but he understands the mindset it takes to win in the NFL. The Colts owner talked at great length when asked about the roster changes the team underwent this offseason. He first hyped up the additions of Matt Ryan, Yannick Ngakoue and Stephon Gilmore.

But then unprompted, Irsay began discussing the first big goal for the team during the 2022 season. To be the best, one must beat the best.

“We know going into it, it’s about Tennessee. It’s about winning the division,” Irsay said. “It’s about going against those guys who have been very tough.

The Tennessee Titans have won the last two AFC South titles and made the playoffs in four of the most recent five years. That includes three straight postseason berths (2019 as a wild card).

Last year, the Titans also earned the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

“They do a great job there of getting their players ready to play football in a tough, physical way,” Irsay said. “It’s always tough going against those guys, but we know that’s what we have to do, that’s what we have to overcome if we want to get where we want to get.”

The Colts also can’t forget about one of their other division rivals — the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Colts haven’t won in Jacksonville since capturing their last division title in 2014.

‘Creating a New Era’

The Irsay family has owned the Colts since 1971, and Jim Irsay has been involved near the top of the organization since 1984. Early in his family’s ownership, the Colts were a doormat in the league. Then they developed into one of the premiere organizations in the NFL with the arrival of Peyton Manning.

What Irsay is striving to do next is build a franchise that has success spanning beyond just one Hall of Fame quarterback.

“This is the time to set up another generation of greatness,” Irsay said. “We were there with Peyton Manning. We did all the things with Peyton [Manning] and Marvin [Harrison] and Edgerrin [James] that is well documented — the 115 wins in a decade, going to two Super Bowls, winning two home AFC Championship Games. But now’s the time to create another era.”

“Eras don’t last forever, but great organizations do.”

Irsay certainly sounds excited for the season. There also likely won’t be another NFL owner so blatantly honest about his expectations for the upcoming campaign then Irsay.

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