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Strewth! Aussie mates can't believe Luongo price tag
MASSIMO Luongo’s Aussie friends are struggling to adjust to the fact that their mate is now worth £400,000.
The Sydneysider became a permanent fixture in the Swindon Town squad last week following his move from Tottenham, as the Robins dug deep in their wallets to land the midfielder who has quickly become a fans’ favourite at the County Ground.
Back at home, for those who know Luongo waking up to the news of his move, the sum of money shelled out for the lad from New South Wales had to be quickly digested.
According to Luongo, that hasn’t yet happened.
He told the Advertiser: “It feels alright. Coming from Australia, all my mates back home don’t believe that amount coming from me. I’m just one of their friends and they see that on Sky Sports and think ‘Mass, you’re worth a lot of money now’.
“It is a good sum to have on paper, it does mean Swindon really wanted me so it’s a big compliment to me.”
For a young professional, at just 20 years of age, Luongo is headstrong and ambitious and it was through calm rationale that he ended up plumping for a relocation to Wiltshire.
Since joining the Spurs academy in 2001 following a successful trial, Luongo has struggled to break into the north London side’s first team - and in recent times he has found his way blocked more by exotic signings.
The acquisition by Spurs of players such as Erik Lamela and Christian Eriksen in the last transfer window confirmed to Luongo that now was the right time to move.
Though when he joined Swindon on loan in June he never expected it, his destination was right on his doorstep.
“The first thing I thought of was being settled and having a club for three years and being able to play comfortably without worrying where I was going to be for the next few years,” he said.
“It settled me down a little bit and made me more comfortable and that was what was going through my head, I was happy.
“I always thought that if I came on loan and I did well, with the way Tottenham are bringing in players, that it would be more of a display for me to go to another club. I didn’t think Swindon would be the club that would be willing to take me.
“Coming in at the beginning of the season it might have gone through my head but no one actually approached me until a week before I signed. Then I realised it did make sense to come here.
“Even before they brought in all the big players this window, I wasn’t really in and around the squad. The way AVB (Andre VillasBoas) is he likes to bring in the big player and you could see it happening.
“I always thought loans would be my way out and that I needed to get on loan to be more seen and get my value up. It was the right career path to get out and get first-team football permanently.”
Everything about Swindon seems to bring a smile to Luongo’s face. Like all of this summer’s new arrivals, the playmaker has a playful side. He fits in with a group of like-minded individuals.
“I was talking to Lee (Power) about the group, and I agreed with him. Being with the boys - not just the Tottenham boys - everyone gets along so well,” he said.
“I’ve never experienced it. Being at Ipswich wasn’t like that, being at Tottenham - even in the reserves - wasn’t anything like what we’ve got here.
“We’re all young players, besides Wardy (Darren Ward), and it does look good. It shows a lot of promise for the season. We can only build on what we’ve got.
“I didn’t even discuss any of the terms or what was going into the contract. When I went to sign it I realised it was a three-year deal and I was happy with that.
“Lee told me he wants to do the best for me and giving someone a one-year deal doesn’t give any promises. He said ‘we mean business with you coming here, we want to make you feel comfortable and prove to you and to everyone that this is a big signing and we do mean business this year’.
So what about the coming months? Where does Luongo feel the Robins can finish?
“No one really talks about where we’re going to end up in the team, we’re taking one game at a time, but it does look promising. We’ve got a lot of depth in the side. If someone does get a knock we can easily fill that gap and it won’t effect the way we play or the standard we play at,” he said.
“What we can get out of the season is a good level of consistency with the way we play. I don’t know about results but we’ll be a difficult team to play against.”
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