​Former Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has explained why he chose to leave the Premier League for China during last month’s transfer window – citing an open mind and “wanting to see something different” as his reasons for moving.

The Belgian international, 31, left the club after six and a half seasons, having made just nine Premier League appearances in the first half of 2018/19.

Mousa Dembele,Dele Alli

With his contract set to expire at the end of this season, Tottenham officials felt it best to recoup some compensation for the midfielder – selling him for a reported £11m to Guangzhou R&F.

“I wanted to have a different experience in life,” he explained when asked about his reasons for leaving England, as reported by ​Sky Sports. “I heard already there is good food in Guangzhou. I will try this a lot. I think my family will enjoy it as well here.”

“I feel good – everybody is very welcoming. This is a very important thing if you are new in a club, people try to make you feel very comfortable from the start.

“I think everybody is doing this and it’s a good feeling for me and it will make it easier to adapt and to feel at home as quickly as possible.

“I have a small application on my phone that I look into and try to understand some words. Hopefully in six months I will know some words already. I think I know already some words. There is ‘ni hao’, ‘ni hao’ is okay.

“I like the fact there are a lot of jokes on the pitch but when it has to be serious, they are serious, everyone is serious. Between everything, the exercises, the people, the jokes, it’s what I like as well.”

​Dembele has found comfort in his new dressing room since his switch, likening the atmosphere at Guangzhou R&F to that of his former club.

Tottenham Hotspur v Manchester City - Premier League

“The jokes and everything is similar to ​Tottenham. The group atmosphere is very comparable with Tottenham. I like this because in Tottenham it was a good group, everyone was very good together.

“I feel as though here that all the players have a good mentality.”


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