Redknapp: Bassong was recommended by Shearer
Tottenham Hotspur centre-back Sebastien Bassong would have stayed at Newcastle United if Alan Shearer was given the manager's job, Harry Redknapp has revealed.
Bassong was one of the few players to impress at St James' Park last season - and the 23-year-old wanted to move for the sake of his career when Newcastle lost their Premier League status.
Shearer and assistant Iain Dowie spoke highly of Bassong to Redknapp in April after Newcastle were defeated at White Hart Lane, with the Magpies caretaker boss at the time insisting he would keep the centre-back at any cost.
"When we played Newcastle last year I spoke to Iain Dowie and Alan Shearer after the game and they spoke about the team, they were in desperate trouble," Redknapp said.
"Iain said if they didn't stay at the club and one player did become available, Sebastien was the player to take. They couldn't have recommended him any higher.
"Alan as well. He said 'if I stay at the club there is no way he'll ever leave'. Alan didn't get the job and he (Bassong) was the first person we went for. He's a young player with a fantastic future."
Bassong, who cost Redknapp £8million, was born in France but made his debut for Cameroon this week. After his chaotic year at Newcastle, he believes he will be challenging for a European place at Spurs.
"When we went down it would be very difficult for me to stay at Newcastle," he said.
"I made my choice. There was interest from other clubs but when I heard about Tottenham my choice was made.
"Tottenham have a good squad, manager and reputation and when we played Tottenham last season they made a good impression and I thought it was the club for me.
"We have the players and the squad to finish in the first part of the table, maybe sixth. We can fight to have a good season. I can't say first, four or fifth but I think we are going to do good things this season."
Bassong is set to make his Spurs debut against Liverpool on Sunday following a clarification of the Football Association's rules on suspension.
He was sent off in the penultimate game of the season, meaning he missed the defeat at Aston Villa that sent Newcastle down.
There was an assumption he would be suspended for one game when he joined Spurs - but because Newcastle have already played a match this season he is free to face Rafael Benitez's men.
Redknapp is expecting a tough start to their campaign.
"Liverpool are a terrific side," the Spurs boss added. "Last year they were outstanding. Only losing two games but not winning the league was an amazing statistic.
"They'll be there this year pushing for the championship, along with Manchester United and Chelsea and Arsenal. Man City as well. We want to be up there pushing as well.
"It's a big test on the first day of the season to see what we are made of. We beat them at home last year even though they dominated. We're looking forward to it."
Redknapp admits it has been difficult to prepare for the match when many of his players have been away on international duty. They have also had a hectic pre-season schedule.
"It's been a hard preparation," Redknapp said. "We went to China and Hong Kong to play and had a couple of games at Wembley.
"There were lots of games and lots of travelling and midweek has been difficult because so many were away. We've only had six or seven training all week. It's been a difficult week to prepare."