Belfast Telegraph

Monday 14 July 2014

Woodgate leaves Spurs

Jonathan Woodgate

Tottenham have confirmed injury-plagued defender Jonathan Woodgate has left the club.

Woodgate joined Spurs in January 2008 from Middlesbrough but has been limited to just 65 appearances due to several serious injuries.

The former Real Madrid man has been dogged by back and leg injuries since his days at Newcastle and his latest setback - a groin problem - meant he was only able to play one game in the last 15 months.

Because of his injury problems, Spurs manager Harry Redknapp was only willing to offer the 31-year-old a pay-as-you-play deal, despite rating him as one of the best English defenders of his generation.

Those talks have collapsed and Woodgate has been released from his contract and is now a free agent. The centre-back, who has eight England caps, has been linked with a move to QPR and former club Leeds.

Redknapp said in May that Woodgate was still capable of performing at the top level.

"If we don't keep him then he is worth a gamble for someone on a pay-as-you-play deal because if you can get him fit you will have one of the best centre-halves anywhere," the 64-year-old said.

Spurs have also announced today that goalkeeper Stipe Pletikosa has returned to Spartak Moscow after spending last season on loan at White Hart Lane.

Young striker Jonathan Obika, defender Adam Smith and goalkeeper Ben Alnwick have all signed contract extensions, while Academy players Zaine Francis-Angol and Olumide Durojaiye have been released at the end of their scholarships.

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