Toronto FC winger Rohan Ricketts, formerly of Spurs and Arsenal, says new signing David Bentley will be in for a tough time when he goes to the Emirates.
Ricketts told The Sun: “I played with David in the same Arsenal side that won the FA Youth Cup. We go back a long way and we have stayed good pals, so Iâ€™m really pleased for him thatâ€™s heâ€™s signed for a big club like Tottenham.
“Of course, Arsenal fans won’t like it at all and I’m sure that when he goes back to the Emirates they’ll give him a really rough time. I remember when I first went back to Arsenal with Spurs.
“The fans booed me every time I touched the ball and I copped some really bad flak because the clubs are such rivals. The same will happen to David and I’m positive the Arsenal fans will get on his back.
“But at the end of the day, the club didn’t want him so I’m sure he won’t care. He’ll just get on with his job and not let it affect him.
“I can understand why he left Arsenal because he wasn’t getting regular football. He had competition from the likes of Robert Pires and Freddy Ljungberg, who were world-class.
“A player of David’s quality must play first-team football and Arsenal just couldn’t deliver that.
“The fans should understand that. I was in the same boat. As a young player at a club like Arsenal, they have the luxury of picking the very best and some of us had to move.
“Now he’s good enough to play for Arsenal but it’s their own fault for letting him go. He’s just trying to broaden his horizons and better himself. There’s nothing wrong with that.
“It’s a great move for him because Spurs is a club with a bit more potential than Blackburn. They will be pushing for a Champions League spot, which is what a player like David Bentley needs.”
He added: “I was a year or two older than David but I remember the first time I saw him playing in a trial game for Arsenal.
“You could see he was head and shoulders above the rest of the lads. He was an exceptional kid, he had something about him and he’s gone from strength to strength.
“Technically he’s possibly the best player in England right now.
“And if he’s given a free role, he could be the class player we’ve been missing. He could fill the void England have had since Gazza played.
“But while Gazza was more of a direct player, David is better at bringing other players into the game. Yes Â£17m is a lot of money but David Bentley is good enough to warrant that fee.”