Jermaine Jenas has revealed being a fringe player at White Hart Lane forced him to consider his Tottenham future. He lost his place in the England fold as a result of his failure to hold down regular games because of a series of niggling injuries.
His struggles led to reports over the summer that he could be moved on, with Stoke believed to be among those keen to bring him on board.
Jenas is pleased to see his hard work pay off, but admits there was a time when he thought he may have to leave in order to reignite his career.
He said: "There has been constant rumours about me leaving but I just wanted to be settled and part of the Tottenham team again.
"At one time I felt I'd have to leave because all I wanted to do was play football and I wasn't getting games here.
"But despite the offers that came in, they were not worth leaving for.
"This is the best I've felt since a few years ago.
"I was carrying a groin injury for at least a year - maybe because I was under a bit of pressure in my own position and I was trying to just delay, delay, delay the surgery. But I had to do it in the end.
"I was taking painkillers to try to get through it and in the end it just broke down.
"There's Champions League football now and I'll be fighting tooth and nail to get a regular starting place."