Etienne Capoue has revealed talks with his former Tottenham teammate Heurelho Gomes played a big role in his decision to join newly promoted Watford.
Capoue, 26, was confirmed as Quique Flores' latest signing yesterday (6 July) after moving from White Hart Lane for a club-record fee – reported by The Guardian to be in the region of £6.3m ($9.7m) – and signing a four-year deal.
The versatile French midfielder made just 12 appearances in the Premier League last season, with manager Mauricio Pochettino showing a preference for a partnership of academy graduates Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb in support of Christian Eriksen.
Having now completed his switch to Watford, Capoue is hoping to secure more regular first team opportunities at Vicarage Road and help the club retain Premier League status in what is their first top-flight season since 2007.
"For me it's an opportunity to play," he was quoted as saying by the Press Association. "I need to play and to prove my qualities on the pitch, and I think Watford is the best thing for me. I hope I'll bring my technical passing football, and my experience in the Premier League and I hope we'll do very well this year and stay in the Premier League."
In Gomes, there will be at least one familiar face among Capoue's new surroundings. The Brazilian has firmly cemented his place as Watford's first-choice goalkeeper since leaving Spurs in May 2014 and was rewarded with a new three-year contract in May after featuring on 44 occasions during their successful promotion campaign.
As well as confirming his desire to stay at the club, it appears Gomes played an important role in ensuring their pursuit of Capoue was successful.
He added: "We need some experience because the Championship is very different to the Premier League. The games are very difficult, so we need players like Heurelho Gomes to help us do our best every weekend. I have known Heurelho for two years and he told me a lot of good things about the club and this played a part in me choosing Watford.
"The president was very happy to try to bring me here and I spoke with him a lot of times, and we found a good way to do the best for the club."
While Capoue largely failed to make the grade at Tottenham, one player who will be hoping to impress there next season is Kevin Wimmer. The Austrian centre-back became Pochettino's first summer signing after joining from Cologne in May and recently spoke of his happiness at finally reporting for pre-season training with his new employers.
"It was always a dream for me to play for a club like this and to play in the Premier League," he told Tottenham's official website." Now I'm here, to start training at such an amazing training centre, it's a very good feeling. For a footballer, it can't be better.
"It was such a good feeling to wear my new kit, with the Tottenham Hotspur logo, it makes me very proud. My first training session was very tough but this is what pre-season is about. I'm really looking forward to the season because I'm enjoying it already on my first day. My team-mates have all welcomed me, they are all very nice and this is going to be a very good time for me."