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Steven Bergwijn dedicates debut Tottenham goal to former Ajax team-mate Abdelhak Nouri

Steven Bergwijn

Steven Bergwijn has revealed that he knew he was going to score on his Tottenham debut after making a promise to the brother of former Ajax team-mate Appie Nouri.

Nouri was left with permanent brain damage after suffering a cardiac arrest during a friendly match in 2017.

Bergwijn came through the Ajax academy alongside Nouri, who is the same age as the Spurs winger.

And Bergwijn says he made a promise to Nouri's brother that he would find the back of the net on his maiden outing for Tottenham, which he fulfilled by scoring in a 2-0 victory over Manchester City two weeks ago.

“I spoke with his brother and he told me: ‘You’re going to score for Appie,’” Bergwijn told the Guardian.

“And I said: ‘OK, watch me, I’m going to score.’ I did it. “When I heard Appie had brain damage, I just can’t describe my feelings. At that time I didn’t sleep so much.

"In the first weeks I was scared to play, scared to go on the pitch because Appie was a young boy and out of nowhere [he collapsed].

“It was difficult. It’s still difficult. I speak to his brother every day but it’s still difficult.”

Spurs spent an initial £25m to bring Bergwijn to north London in the final week of the January transfer window.

And the 22-year-old says the opportunity to join Jose Mourinho's side was too good to turn down.

“I didn’t have the feeling at Ajax any more and, if that’s gone, you have to leave,” he added. “If I have no feeling, when my heart isn’t there, it’s over.

“My father called me and said: ‘Pack your stuff, you’re going to London.' It was fast. I didn’t expect to make the transfer in January. I thought in the summer. But if Tottenham wants you, you can’t say no.”

Spurs return to Premier League action against Aston Villa on Sunday.


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