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Last Updated: Tuesday, 3 February, 2004, 00:52 GMT
Defoe apologises to Hammers
Jermain Defoe
Jermain Defoe has apologised to West Ham supporters for "mishandling" his transfer request back in May.

The 21-year-old striker handed in a transfer request at Upton Park the day after the Hammers were relegated.

After being unveiled as a Spurs player, he said: "I mishandled that move and I can only apologise. I'm young and I've learned from it.

"I still played my hardest for West Ham and gave them 100% and want to thank the fans for their support."

Defoe added: "They've been great to me since I came through as a 17-year-old.

"But I am relieved to have signed - I didn't really expect it.

"I was sitting at home looking forward to the Bradford game so it's all a shock. That said, I'm delighted that it's happened."

The 21-year-old, who had been linked with both Arsenal and Manchester United, said he quickly agreed to move to White Hart Lane after speaking to his family and his agent.

Defoe added: "I see Tottenham as a massive club. I'm just really looking forward to it."

I will prove a few people wrong
Bobby Zamora

The move will see the England Under-21 international linking up with former Hammers team-mate Frederic Kanoute.

"I'm looking forward to linking up with Freddie and the other top players at the club as well," said Defoe.

West Ham manager Alan Pardew insists the club had no choice but to sell their star player.

Defoe joined Tottenham for 7m on Monday, with Bobby Zamora moving to Upton Park as part of the deal.

"It's always a difficult decision to lose a great player but in the cold light of day we knew all the facts," said Pardew.

"And the fact is, he wouldn't sign a new contract for us.

"I rang him on Sunday night and got a feel for where he was at, and that made my decision.

"On numerous occasions he had been asked to come in and he made it very clear - well, not so much him but his agency - made it clear they were not prepared to do a deal."

Pardew contrasted Defoe's attitude with that of new arrival Zamora.

"I want people who are hungry to play for West Ham and I feel that in Bobby we have someone that shows that - and I hope he gets the goals we want," he told the club's official site.

"I don't think he has had two games back to back at Spurs and I think any young striker going to a big club needs a run - and he will get it here.

"He is a West Ham fanatic and I think he would have walked here if he had had the chance."

Zamora hinted it had not been a completely straightforward decision to leave the Premiership.

"I was up late last night with my agent and my dad talking away, and it took a bit of time - but I am pleased," he said.

"I have something to prove all the time as all players do - but I will prove a few people wrong."

  • Meanwhile, the Hammers have moved to bring in midfielder Sebastien Carole on loan from Monaco.

    The pacy 21-year-old, who can play in the centre or on the right, will stay at Upton Park until the end of the season.

    Tottenham's Jermain Defoe
    "I will work hard to achieve things here"

    West Ham boss Alan Pardew
    "This deal makes sense for us"

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