Martin Jol: I loved Dempsey like a son

The Fulham boss has expressed his disappointment at losing the American midfielder over the summer, believing that his main motive for leaving the club was extra cash
When Fulham host Tottenham on Saturday afternoon, there will be mixed feelings for the Cottagers as they welcome back Clint Dempsey and Mousa Dembele, who both moved from south-west to north London in August to join Spurs.

Martin Jol will also feel that he has a point to prove by defeating Tottenham, the club who sacked him five years ago.

And the Dutchman has spoken of his disappointment when he found out about Dempsey's wish to leave Fulham and turn his back on Jol in the process.

The Cottagers' manager told The Mirror: “With Clint, I told him in our last conversation that I loved him like a son, but he didn’t care because he wanted to move.

“I don’t think it was personal, he never said he didn’t feel loved by me. You have to ask him, but he didn’t feel appreciated.

“He told me, ‘You’ve got all the money in the world, but I haven’t’, so he wanted a ­financial move and to play in the ­Champions League.

“He said it several times, so that is the reason.

“He told me, ‘You know what I want - I want to leave’, from the first day. So there was no option.

“I tried to get him over again, but he said, ‘I don’t want to talk, I don’t want to talk’. Then I had to keep him on the pitch and talk to him on the pitch instead of in my office.

“I tried to convince him again because of how high I rated him. I always said he was the best offensive midfielder. He scored more goals than anyone else.”

The 29-year-old was accused of 'striking' at the beginning of the season after he was left out of Fulham's earlier fixtures. However, Jol has set the record set.

He added: “I never said that he refused to play, I never said that at all.

“He acted like a player that I couldn’t involve anymore. He didn’t want to talk and you don’t want to run if you don’t want to do anything.

“If you want to train with the kids, then I can’t use you anymore.”

Tottenham purchased Dempsey on deadline day in a deal thought to be worth £6 million, reportedly beating Aston Villa and Liverpool to the USA international's signature.