Former Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has explained why he chose to leave the Premier League for China during last month's transfer window - citing an open mind and wanting to see something different as his reasons for moving.

By 90Min
February 16, 2019

Former Tottenham midfielder Mousa Dembele has explained why he chose to leave the Premier League for China during last month's transfer window - citing an open mind and wanting to see something different as his reasons for moving.

The Belgian international, 31, left the club after six and a half seasons, having made just nine Premier League appearances in the first half of 2018/19.

With his contract set to expire at the end of this season, Tottenham officials felt it best to recoup some compensation for the midfielder - selling him for a reported £11m to Guangzhou R&F.

"I wanted to have a different experience in life," he explained when asked about his reasons for leaving England, as reported by Sky Sports. "I heard already there is good food in Guangzhou. I will try this a lot. I think my family will enjoy it as well here."

"I feel good - everybody is very welcoming. This is a very important thing if you are new in a club, people try to make you feel very comfortable from the start.

"I think everybody is doing this and it's a good feeling for me and it will make it easier to adapt and to feel at home as quickly as possible.

"I have a small application on my phone that I look into and try to understand some words. Hopefully in six months I will know some words already. I think I know already some words. There is 'ni hao', 'ni hao' is okay.

"I like the fact there are a lot of jokes on the pitch but when it has to be serious, they are serious, everyone is serious. Between everything, the exercises, the people, the jokes, it's what I like as well."

Dembele has found comfort in his new dressing room since his switch, likening the atmosphere at Guangzhou R&F to that of his former club.

"The jokes and everything is similar to Tottenham. The group atmosphere is very comparable with Tottenham. I like this because in Tottenham it was a good group, everyone was very good together.

"I feel as though here that all the players have a good mentality."

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