Controversial wonderkid John Bostock has defended his decision to leave Crystal Palace for Tottenham, claiming "I'm at the best place for my career". The 16-year-old midfielder joined Spurs after a drawn-out chase last summer that left Palace chairman Simon Jordan seething over what he considered a derisory £700,000 tribunal fee for a player the club had nurtured. But Bostock – who became Crystal Palace's youngest debutant aged just 15 years and 287 days – says swapping Selhurst Park for White Hart Lane was in the best interests of his career development. Speaking in the new issue of FourFourTwo – which also includes a lengthy interview with Palace chairman Simon Jordan, who's still incandescent with rage about it – Bostock says working with higher-class players has improved his game already. "My vision – the ability to split defences – technique and creativity are my strong points, and all have come on leaps and bounds," he says. "When you're training alongside the likes of David Bentley, Tom Huddlestone and Aaron Lennon day in day out, it's inevitable you will improve." And Bostock singled out a languid frontman, who has since joined Manchester United, for special praise. "Dimitar Berbatov, too – he's the best I've ever played with, a phenomenal talent, just like Zidane. "His touch was unbelievable, he oozed class," gushed the teenager. Bostock played alongside Berbatov in Tottenham's pre-season tour of Spain but the Bulgarian was long gone by the time Bostock made his official bow against Dinamo Zagreb in November – becoming Tottenham's youngest-ever player, aged 16 years and 295 days. "As a Palace fan, making my debut against Watford was special – but this eclipsed it, given the size of the club and the occasion," said the youngster. "It came sooner than anticipated and I didn't know I'd become Tottenham's youngest player ever until Clive Allen told me afterwards." Bostock's ambitions don't stop at Tottenham: the teen sensation has international ambitions and unshakeable self-belief. "I want to play for England, play in the Champions League, get to all the great tournaments – but above all, I want to fulfil the talent I've got."
The new issue of FourFourTwo is out now. If you're going to quote this story (and you're welcome to), please be considerate and say where you got it.
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