Clint Dempsey leaves Fulham with no regrets

The American midfielder doesn't like how he was portrayed in the days leading to his move from Fulham to Tottenham but is ready to move on.
KINGSTON, Jamaica -- Clint Dempsey doesn't like how he was represented by Fulham, particularly boss Martin Jol, as his summer-long transfer saga played out.

"Everyone has the right to their own opinion, but I put in some good work there, put in a good five-and-a-half years, and I'm happy with the job that I did there," the American midfielder said. "I think that you can't really question my heart. I put everything into every game and that's what I've always done my whole career. I'll look back at my time [at Fulham] with no regrets."

After months of being linked to a move elsewhere in the English Premier League and constant rumors regarding his relationship with Jol, Dempsey finally ended up with Tottenham in the hours leading to the transfer deadline. He had been working out alone with a Fulham trainer prior to making his exit.

Sources tell that Dempsey and Jol had a rocky relationship since last season, but things got out of hand when rumors swirled that Dempsey pulled out of Fulham's Switzerland tour in early August. It got even worse when the coach publicly called out his star player for turning his back on the team.

"I'm disappointed with the way things ended and how I was portrayed in the end, but that's in the past now," Dempsey said. "I just want to thank the fans for five-and-a-half great years and thank the chairman for taking a chance on me from MLS. I'll always look back at my time there with a smile on my face."

Dempsey was out of Fulham's lineup for the club's first two games of the season and hasn't played in a competitive game since last June, a streak that will likely end Friday when the U.S. national team takes on Jamaica in the first of two World Cup qualifying games between the teams in a five-day span.

He is happy to be moving on with his career.

"It's good to have that behind me now and now looking toward the future," he said. "I'm excited about the qualifiers coming up with the U.S. team but also excited about the opportunity of playing for a team like Tottenham and working hard and trying to break into that lineup."

Dempsey was one of England's biggest transfer targets leading to the deadline after leading the Cottagers with 23 goals in all competitions last season. He had always made it clear that he wanted to move to a Champions League-caliber club and Liverpool had expressed interest but a deal couldn't be reached.

Tottenham scooped up Dempsey in a surprising move late Friday. Spurs finished fourth in the Premier League last season, but missed out on a Champions League spot after Chelsea won the competition last year to take England's last qualifying spot.

"It's definitely been a roller coaster, you know, up and down," Dempsey said. "It definitely was a stressful time because you don't know where you're going."

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