Redknapp doesn't rue missed transfer chances

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Sunderland star Stephane Sessegnon and Newcastle forward Hatem Ben Arfa could have been Tottenham players, according to Harry Redknapp.

The 65-year-old Spurs boss has revealed how club scouts had watched both Sunderland and Newcastle players ahead of proposed moves to White Hart Lane, but were determined not as effective as current stars Rafa Van der Vaart and Jermain Defoe.

"We could have had Sessegnon at one time, I think," Redknapp told London24. "The people who work for me weren't really convinced at the time.

"They were watching him and they didn't feel that he was any better than what we had, in all honesty. We still had [Roman} Pavlyuchenko here, and Defoe. But he is a talent, there's no doubt about that, a really good player in behind the striker.

"The boy at Newcastle's a good player as well, he's a talent, Ben Arfa. He's similar, another good little dribbler.

"We probably could have had him as well, but you can't take everyone can you? You end up with dozens of players hanging around, and we've got good players here anyway so he might not have got in our team."

Both players have since moved to the Premier League, and are each earning rave reviews following a series of impressive performances in the North East.

However, despite their fine form this season, Redknapp insists he has no regrets over the decision taken by Tottenham, reflecting that it would be impossible for the club to sign everybody.

"Do I regret not taking Sessegnon? Not really," he continued. "He's a good little player, but I've got Van der Vaart. You're just going to cause yourself a bigger problem.

"Rafa plays there, really, in behind the striker, and he's not going to be happy sitting around and not playing.

"Rafa scores goals and makes goals. He's a top player, so you can't just say, 'oh I'll have him, and him'. Some football clubs end up with too many and all you have is problems."

Spurs' stuttering season is at risk of falling completely by the wayside, with Champions League qualification now far from assured, despite competing for the title for much of the campaign.

But the race for fourth place takes a back seat this weekend, as the club looks to bounce back from their disappointing home defeat to Norwich, with victory over Chelsea in their FA Cup semi-final on Sunday.

Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League

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