Tottenham midfielder Clint Dempsey has revealed that he left Fulham on the final day of the transfer window because he did not "feel valued and appreciated" at the west London club.
Andre Villas-Boas' side travel to Craven Cottage on Saturday looking for their third Premier League victory on the trot, after holding off a resilient Liverpool side on Wednesday to win 2-1, with the team in fifth and three points outside of the top four.
And Dempsey, who will be returning to his former club for the first time, is keen to explain his reasons behind leaving the side where he made his name during a five-year spell.
"If you always felt valued and appreciated enough, I don’t think you’d ever leave but it came to a point where I didn’t feel valued and appreciated," Dempsey told London Evening Standard.
"Not by the fans but by other situations. That’s just the way things went.
"The situation is difficult because things go on behind the scenes that the fans don’t really know about. The fans were great to me, the chairman [Mohamed Fayed] was great to me but it got the point where I wanted to keep going and try to further my career.
DEMPSEY TO HAUNT FULHAM?
Clint Dempsey is 21/10 to score anytime against Fulham with Paddy Power
"I thank them for the five-and-a-half years I had there, which were some of the best experiences I’ve had, and I’m grateful to the chairman for taking a chance on me.
"Any time I go back, there will always be good memories. How you’re received, you’re received. It’s unfortunate how things happened but I look forward to going back."
Meanwhile, Dempsey's team-mate Jan Vertonghen is looking forward to a reunion with Fulham manager Martin Jol, who he played under while at Ajax between 2009-10.
The centre-back said: "He is a good motivator. He can always motivate teams for the biggest games and even the smaller ones. I liked working with him and he gave me a lot of confidence.
"We’ve had two good wins but Fulham are a well-organised team."