Mauricio Pochettino gives his verdict on Tottenham’s summer acquisitions.
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ENFIELD, ENGLAND – AUGUST 25: Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur training ground on August 25, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
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.”
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 20: Victor Wanyama of Tottenham Hotspur scores his sides first goal past Wayne Hennessey of Crystal Palace during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on August 20, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
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.
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 20: Vincent Janssen of Tottenham Hotspur in action during the Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Crystal Palace at White Hart Lane on August 20, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
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.”
ENFIELD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Georges-Kevin N’Koudou during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur training centre on September 8, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
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.”
ENFIELD, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Pau Lopez of Tottenham during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur training centre on September 8, 2016 in Enfield, England. (Photo by Tottenham Hotspur FC/Tottenham Hotspur FC via Getty Images)
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.”
“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.”