Miami: Former Tottenham Hotspur striker Juergen Klinsmann believes fans of the North London club will warmly embrace their new American signing Clint Dempsey.
Dempsey, who joined Spurs from Fulham shortly before the transfer deadline on Friday, is a key part of the Klinsmann-coached US national team and the pair teamed up at training on Monday ahead of two World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica.
Klinsmann, who scored 38 goals in 65 appearances in two spells with Spurs, has no doubt that Dempsey has what it takes to win the hearts of the White Hart Lane crowd.
“He has that type of character and personality. He was admired and loved at Fulham and now it’s another level to step up to for him,” Klinsmann told reporters.
“As long as you work hard, as long as you give everything that you have, he has all the technical ability and talent, the people will love him,” he said.
Former Germany player and coach Klinsmann retains strong links with Spurs and is clearly delighted that a player, who is key to his bid to take the US to the World Cup finals in Brazil in 2014, will ply his trade at his old club.
“I’m pleased because I can certainly tell him about that club, which is a very special one in England obviously,” he said.
“He had that goal that he wanted to play European football, at the highest level as possible and he suffered over the last couple of weeks with the situation and now it’s all done and he’s ready.”
Dempsey, who scored 17 goals in the Premier League for Fulham last season, said he was looking forward to the next chapter of his career with Tottenham.
“I think it’s the perfect fit for me - I wanted to play at the highest level and last season they finished fourth which would have qualified them for the Champions League if Chelsea hadn’t won the competition,” the 29-year-old said.
But with Spurs, under new manager Andre Villas-Boas, bringing in several new faces, Dempsey knows he will have to fight for a place.
“To play with some of the players there, to challenge myself, I know I’ve got my work cut out for me to try to break into that line-up but I am just looking forward that challenge and seeing if I can rise to it,” he added.
The US forward secured his desired move to a leading club after a close-season marred by tension with Fulham.
Fulham’s Dutch coach Martin Jol accused Dempsey of refusing to play for the club while holding out for a move.
After signing with Spurs late on Friday and watching their home draw with Norwich City on Saturday, Dempsey flew out to Miami to prepare for Friday’s qualifier in Kingston, Jamaica, leaving him little to time to say farewell to his former club.
Despite the tension of recent weeks, as a rumoured move to Liverpool failed to materialise, Dempsey said he would have only positive memories of his time at Craven Cottage.
“I was disappointed with the way things ended with Fulham, the way I was portrayed but when I look back at the five and a half years that I had there, I am always going to have a smile on my face,” he said.
“I want to thank the fans for the great memories, I want to thank the chairman for taking a chance on me when I was in Major League Soccer and giving me the opportunity to play at that level.
“I also want to thank my team-mates - I was lucky enough to play with a lot of great guys, there were no big egos on the team, just good people.
“I always look back with great memories and hopefully the fans can do the same - I’ll always be grateful to Fulham.”