In a Q&A with the Daily Mail, former Portsmouth and Spurs striker Peter Crouch has revealed he came very close to joining Sunderland in 2009, also revealing he was subject to “significant interest” from Fulham.
Retired striker Peter Crouch enjoyed a successful career from 1998 to 2019. The former England international striker played for Spurs, Dulwich Hamlet (loan), IFK Hasselholm (loan), QPR (loan), Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich City (loan), Southampton, Liverpool, Stoke City and Burnley over the course of his career.
Now, Crouch has revealed he could have added either Sunderland or Fulham to that list as well. In the summer of 2009, the Black Cats almost brought in Crouch from Portsmouth. The club even showed the striker around the training ground and even looked at houses in the area. While Fulham’s interest did not go as far as Sunderland’s, Crouch said that the Cottagers did show “significant interest”. He said:
“History shows I went from Portsmouth to Tottenham in the summer of 2009 but it could quite easily have been Portsmouth to Sunderland. Steve Bruce was keen to sign me and it got to the point where I flew up to the North East from the South Coast.
“Steve took me around Sunderland’s fantastic training ground, we had lunch together and I was even taken to the areas where the other players lived to look at possible houses. I was prepared to move there over Fulham, who had also shown a significant interest.
“On the way back home, though, I got a call from Harry Redknapp, who asked me about my plans. When I told him about Sunderland, he made his pitch for Tottenham and having not even been in the picture, I was suddenly headed for White Hart Lane. I’m glad it worked out as it did.”
Over the course of his career, Crouch played in 676 games across all competitions, scoring 187 goals and providing 70 assists in the process. He enjoyed a successful international career as well, netting 22 goals in 42 games for England (all stats via Transfermarkt).
It would have been interesting to see if a move to either Sunderland or Fulham instead of a return to Spurs would have changed the career path of Crouch.