Tottenham Hotspur: Less money for signings as we develop stadium, says Mauricio Pochettino

North London rivals Arsenal underwent a similar period of austerity as they built the Emirates Stadium

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The Independent Football

Mauricio Pochettino, the Tottenham Hotspur manager, has admitted that the club’s new stadium project is severely restricting what moves he can make in the transfer market.

The Argentine spoke at length about the club’s strategy, explaining how Tottenham had “changed vision” since he arrived in 2014. 

This new vision, in short, means promoting youngsters rather than buying in players, because money is tight given the new stadium plans. Arsenal, as Pochettino pointed out, underwent a similar period of austerity as they built the Emirates Stadium.

Pochettino spoke for four and a half minutes, his longest single answer in English during his three years coaching here. Responding to a question about why Spurs did not sign a striker last month despite their dependence on Harry Kane, Pochettino explained the connection between what the club is doing on and off the pitch.

“I don’t feel that our supporters are worried about the team,” Pochettino said. “If we see the stats, we have plus-25 goal difference. We are in a very strong position when you compare to other teams. Football is about balance, and we have a very good balance.”

“Our people need to understand how Tottenham has changed vision, not of football, but in the way that we take decisions. 

“To improve our squad is a very difficult job, and it is easier to find different names on the market. But that is not the way we decided to take 18 months ago.”

Pochettino’s admission that Spurs would now spend less on players echoed the club chairman Daniel Levy’s comments at the end of the summer transfer window last year, that “pragmatic player trading” was necessary so that the club could spend money on the stadium.

“We have in front a very tough period,” Pochettino said. “I read a lot that Arsène Wenger says the most tough period at his club was when they built the stadium. You need to know, and the people need to know, that this is a very tough period for us.”

Spurs were prepared to spend money in January – a £5m deal for the Fulham striker Moussa Dembélé collapsed last Sunday – but Pochettino was clear they would not spend money for the sake of it.

“If we do not believe that we can improve the squad, then why spend? We have many players that can play like a striker, like Son Heung-min or Nacer Chadli. After, we have young players that train with us, like Shayon [Harrison] or [Kaz] Sterling. We need to believe in the younger players because for our future they will be very important.”

“If we achieve big things [this season], OK, but if not, we create a very good basis to achieve next season,” he added. “The project is very clear. We need to believe more when we have in front of us a difficult moment. 

“We are all together, and our key is to be all together and to feel that. This is an important thing and a message for all of our supporters. 

“The energy we create, and the synergy between our supporters and team, is very important for our future.”