Tim Sherwood has hinted he would have given Steven Caulker a chance to prove himself at Tottenham.
The 22-year-old wanted a guarantee of regular first-team football, and when former Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas could not give him that promise the player joined Cardiff.
And the central defender, who will return to White Hart Lane with his new club on Sunday, has been rewarded for his form this season by earning a recall to the England squad.
"He wanted game time and more than the previous manager would guarantee him," said Sherwood.
"The club decided they would let the player go and they think they had a good deal. It is up to Steven to build on that and prove the club were wrong to let him go.
"He wanted to go and play. The only thing I could have done is say 'you will play more football'.
"We are happy with the squad we have got and the club made the decision to let him go. It happens. I wish Gareth Bale was still here. We saw in the Champions League what he can do at that level."
Sherwood's previous developmental role at Spurs means he knows Caulker well and he has backed the Cardiff skipper to flourish.
"He is a man," Sherwood said. "I mean that in the sense that even though he has been a kid, he has always been a man in stature.
"He knows what is right and wrong. He is willing to learn and he is willing to stand up for his beliefs. I like that.
"There are too many side-parting 'Smedley' kids about. It is good to have a character, someone who might be harder to manage but is a good player.
"Steven is obviously a good player and he has been called into the England squad. He is a regular England international of the future, I have no doubt."
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