Tottenham Hotspurs manager Andre Villas Boas has insisted that selling Steven Caulker was one of the hardest decisions he has made at the club, reports The Independent.

The defender was sold to Cardiff City over the summer for £8.5 million and prepares to face his old club today as Spurs travel to Wales.

Caulker made 28 appearances in all competitions last season with the North London club after a successful loan spell with Cardiff's rivals Swansea City the year before.

The 21-year-old earn't praise for his performances from the White Hart Lane faithful and England manager Roy Hodgson handed the centre-back his first international cap in a friendly against Sweden.

However, AVB made the surprise decision to sell his young star to the newly promoted Welsh side as he wasn't able to promise him first team football in an important World Cup year.

Despite the release of William Gallas, competition for places at the heart of the defence was stiff with the likes of Jan Vertonghen, Michael Dawson, Younes Kaboul and new signing Vlad Chiriches.

The 35-year-old manager said: "Yes, it was one of the tougher decisions I have made here," 

"At that time we were short at the back. We had just lost Jan (Vertongen) during the Hong Kong trip but we felt the price was right and it was an opportunity that we had to take."

"I can understand why people were surprised (that we sold him) because he was home-grown and he was a player who did well for us, but in the end we have great competition for places and we decided for Steven to move to another club," the Spurs manager said.

"He has high expectations towards his career, towards a first-team place and we decided to allow that transfer to happen."

Ahead of the clash between the two sides today, the hosts are in 15th with one win so far while the visitors are fourth but if results go their way they could top the table by tonight.

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#Tottenham Hotspur
#Cardiff City
#Steven Caulker
#Premier League
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