Redknapp: I was recommended Vermaelen

Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp has revealed he had the opportunity to sign Arsenal defender Thomas Vermaelen.

The Belgian international joined the Gunners from Ajax for £10 million during the close-season, and has made an impressive start to his Premier League career.

As well as helping to guide Arsene Wenger's side to third place in the table - level on points with Saturday's opponents Spurs - the central defender has also chipped in with five goals, ranging from headers from set-pieces to 25-yard thunderbolts.

However, Vermaelen could so easily have been plying his trade with the Gunners' arch rivals, after White Hart Lane supremo Redknapp revealed that he had been recommended the defender.

"Vermaelen has done very well," he said in The Mirror.

“I was recommended him as a left-back but we were strong in that position. “People who recommended him didn’t speak of him as a central defender, but he and Gallas look very solid at the back.

He’s very strong at left back and in central defence as well.”