Tottenham boss Redknapp: I never thought Sol would go back to Arsenal

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits he was surprised Sol Campbell went back to Arsenal in January.

Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp admits he was surprised Sol Campbell went back to Arsenal in January.

Tonight will be the first time for almost five years Campbell will play at White Hart Lane in an Arsenal shirt.

"I could never see him going back to Arsenal in Campbell is back to face the fans who call him 'Judas' a million years," admitted Redknapp. "I never thought he would want to go anywhere near Arsenal again. When I took him, he wanted out and they wanted him out as well. He walked away from a fortune. His contract there was incredible. He just went: 'No, I don't want to play there any more'. I wouldn't want to say what he told me, but he wasn't happy."

After scoring against Barcelona in the Champions League final, Campbell ended his Highbury contract and expressed a desire to play abroad, but joined Redknapp at Fratton Park, where he won the FA Cup.

Redknapp recalled: "People said to me: 'Are you mad? Sol's finished. He's had it. Mentally, he's gone.' But I knew he'd do a great job. I had no doubts he was still top class. So I took him. He did drop about £3million a year to go to Portsmouth but there was no-one else chasing him.

"He came down and settled in well. He used to moan a lot, you know. The training pitches weren't what he was used to. They were l like Hackney Marshes compared to what he had at Arsenal. I used to say: 'Sol, I remember when you was playing over on Wanstead Flats'. That used to do him straight away. I'd say: 'You started on Hackney Marshes with Senrab and all that, didn't you? And them pitches weren't that good either'.

"He'd come in and have a massage a couple of days a week. When he wanted to train, I'd let him train. Come Saturday, he'd play fantastic."