Mauricio Pochettino Comments on Tottenham’s Signings
Mauricio Pochettino gives his verdict on Tottenham’s summer acquisitions.
After coming so close to a Premier League title last season, Tottenham would head into the summer transfer window with few holes to fill.
Spurs only needed to bolster their bench in order to provide Mauricio Pochettino with more options to rotate the squad whenever need be.
With five new additions, Pochettino has added some quality to his side. It should be more than enough to compete on all fronts this season than in previous years.
“Today, when you look at our squad we have the possibility to play in different ways,” Pochettino said (via Tottenham’s official site).
“That is important because we have different alternatives across the team in order to compete in all competitions.”
“I am happy with the squad. We trust in all these players so we can be optimistic.”
The first signing that Spurs made this summer was Victor Wanyama.
The former Southampton defensive midfielder was targeted last year when Spurs attempted a late £25 million bid to shore up a glaring hole in the starting XI.
After a switch in position for Eric Dier from center-back to holding mid, Pochettino had found his starting defensive midfielder but would need a backup with Nabil Bentaleb falling down the pecking order.
Since Wanyama has been brought in, his spot on the team looks safe after the opening three games of the season.
Dier is still the favorite to retain his job, but the Kenyan international has looked good even at the expense of the 22-year-old Englishman taking a backseat in the process.
“Victor can bring a lot of good things to the team,” Mauricio Pochettino said.
“He’s played the first three official games for the team and he fitted in very well from day one.”
“He has shown in every training session and on the pitch how he wants to compete. There is time for him to improve more because his potential is massive.”
Should Eric Dier find himself on the bench, Victor Wanyama is a capable replacement.
With Spurs passing up on the opportunity to sign Michy Batshuayi due to his high price (£33 million), Mauricio Pochettino would find a good alternative in Vincent Janssen.
At £17 million, Janssen would be nearly half the price that Chelsea paid for the Belgian international, though with less brand recognition from a good signing.
Still, the 22-year-old has been exceptional to start his Spurs career.
The Dutch striker has hit the ground running which is pleasantly surprising given that a transitional phase was expected upon his arrival.
Although Vincent Janssen has yet to score a goal this season, it’s something that he experienced in the Eredivisie last season, and that was a slow start.
Both Janssen and Harry Kane are still a work in progress when playing together, but eventually Janssen will come through. If not soon, then later. His work rate and Spurs needing another striker alone made this signing a no-brainer.
“His work rate is fantastic, he’s very young and he also has huge potential,” Pochettino said.
“When we followed him for six, seven months in Holland, he impressed us.”
“It was ideal to sign him to compete with Harry, we needed one striker more and he’s perfect for us.”
Protracted talks between Spurs and Olympique Marseille delayed Georges-Kévin N’Koudou’s arrival by more than a month.
But in the end Mauricio Pochettino was able to get a player that he felt would provide his team with a spark whether it’s on the bench or as a starter.
With Marseille having a down year last season, N’Koudou was one of the few bright spots.
The Ligue 1 club was devoid of talent after selling players and yet the Frenchman managed to put up solid numbers with practically no help.
Now that the 21-year-old joined Spurs, excitement is brewing in the air to see what the winger could do when he’s surrounded by talent.
N’Koudou has said all the right things so far, by putting the team’s success before his. While scoring goals would be nice for him because he would be contributing immensely, getting assists is just as important.
This mindset will serve him well throughout his stay with Spurs. Though it’s apparent that he will need time to adapt to the team’s system after missing Tottenham’s pre-season.
“GK [Georges-Kévin] is very young, he’s a player who can improve and can surprise everyone,” Mauricio Pochettino said.
“His qualities are unbelievable, he’s an explosive player who can play on the left or inside with both feet and he has a very good mentality.”
“He needs time because he’s young and still needs to work hard, he hasn’t had a pre-season and he’s still improving his fitness, so he needs a few weeks more to be ready.”
Out of all the additions Spurs made during this summer transfer window, Pau López is a special signing that Mauricio Pochettino has made as Tottenham manager.
Pochettino has never brought in a player through a loan. Whether it was a season-long loan or a short-term loan, it’s never happened.
The potential that the Spain Under-21 international has plus Spurs’ goalkeeping situation makes López’ arrival very unique.
The 21-year-old will be a future starter in every since of the word because Hugo Lloris is still the first-choice ‘keeper unless he isn’t fit.
If that’s the case, Michel Vorm can provide support in Lloris’ stead which has happened this season already.
Pau López will most likely spend time with Spurs’ second-team and get opportunities in cup competitions. Before long, Tottenham will permanently buy the Spaniard goalkeeper to secure the heir apparent for Hugo Lloris
“He’s another young player, but with a lot of experience because last season he played a lot of games in La Liga with Espanyol,” Pochettino explained.
“It was a good opportunity to bring him to the Club and he’s a player with the possibility to become a very good goalkeeper.”
“I explained my intentions for bringing him in, he agreed and we are happy we have three very good goalkeepers.”
Despite equaling Spurs’ record transfer fee that the club paid for Érik Lamela (£30 million with bonuses included), the addition of Moussa Sissoko will benefit Pochettino’s squad.
The 27-year-old brings extra pace, power and aggressiveness to a side that could use some more of those three traits.
That alone isn’t worthy of £30 million, but there’s more to this signing than meets the eye.
On the surface, Mousa Dembélé will remain as the starter at central midfield, but when he’s not, there’s no backup.
The midfield pair of Eric Dier and Victor Wanyama hasn’t exactly worked, though Wanyama has looked good individually. This is where Moussa Sissoko comes in.
“He has experience from the last Euros where he showed fantastic performances,” Mauricio Pochettino said.
“He’s strong, fast and powerful and will give us different options.”
“He’s a player who can help the team a lot in all the competitions we will face with his experience.”
Sissoko’s natural position is at central midfield, but he can also play higher up at right midfield. His versatility gives Pochettino options that he didn’t have last season.
It will offer Dembélé and/or Lamela some rest which they were not afforded last term. This can give Spurs the opportunity, like Pochettino said, to compete in all competitions this year.
But the best part of Sissoko’s transfer is that Spurs are only paying £6 million per year on a five-year deal to Newcastle United.
Overall these five summer signings will add to an already talented roster that has gotten better in Mauricio Pochettino’s first two seasons.
Adding in Spurs’ academy players too, Tottenham could potentially challenge for the Premier League title and a top-four spot regularly.
“It’s not only the five [new] players, though,” Pochettino added.
“We also have young players who have grown up through the Academy like Josh Onomah, Harry Winks, Marcus Edwards, Shayon Harrison and Kyle Walker-Peters, players who can show with time they are ready to compete in the Premier League.”
“Now we need to compete and we need to work hard to try to get good results.”
“This is an exciting season for us because we’re in the Champions League, a different competition that we know will demand a lot of energy, but we’re ready.”
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