Mauricio Pochettino blames Brexit and new Tottenham stadium costs for Spurs’ failure to sign any new players

Having failed in their attempts to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, Spurs became the first club in Premier League history not to make a single addition to their squad during the summer window

Alec Shilton
Friday 10 August 2018 07:55
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Tottenham 2018/19 Premier League profile

Mauricio Pochettino reckons Brexit and the cost of Tottenham’s new stadium were central to the club failing to sign any new players in the transfer window.

At the end of last season Pochettino urged Tottenham to be “brave” over the summer, dropping a strong hint that he wanted sizeable financial backing in the transfer market.

Having failed in their attempts to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa, Spurs became the first club in Premier League history not to make a single addition to their squad during the summer window.

With the pound hitting a nine-month low against the Euro, players at clubs abroad have became more expensive to Premier League clubs, with Spurs determined not to pay over the odds.

Pochettino, however, has persuaded Harry Kane, Davinson Sanchez, Son Heung-Min, Erik Lamela, Harry Winks to sign long-term contracts and is satisfied Spurs have shown sufficient ambition by doing so.

He explained: “What the club is doing is showing that it is so brave because building a new training ground, finishing the (player) lodge this summer is a massive investment. Building a stadium that costs nearly £1bn – that’s is the truth, don’t believe when they say £400million. Then with Brexit it’s worse because the cost is 30 per cent more. That is a drama, I feel sorry for the English people.

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino

“Then to keep the best players is to be brave. In the mind of everyone maybe they say ‘Tottenham didn’t sign (players)’, but it’s better the keep your best players.”

Grealish was identified as a target at the start of the summer but a £25m bid was rejected on Tuesday, with Villa’s new billionaire owners adamant their homegrown playmaker would not leave this month.

Pochettino is pleased that Spurs did not give into the temptation of making last-minute signings just for the sake of it.

“We are a club that our decision was not to sign, [even though] it is the fashion to sign or because we are the only club in Europe that has not signed players,” he explained.

“That maybe looks bad because of the perception and because of the history of football, but that is our decision; to keep the best players and to keep the squad. It’s a brave decision.

“I don’t feel the panic. You need to be clever in how you settle your principles, your strategy and to try to win. Of course we are open to improving but if you can’t improve the most important is to keep your best team and players. Maybe (we have) different principles.

“It was a strange transfer market because I think until England was out (of the World Cup) no-one was moving. It was very relaxed and calm. Then also with Europe having more time until the first of September to do deals, it was all so quiet. I am not a specialist in that but I think some people can talk properly about that. It was difficult for everyone, for us included.”

Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele have been linked with moves away from Spurs and could still move abroad this month.

Mauricio Pochettino was unhappy with Tottenham's transfer window

If they remain at the club, Pochettino has urged them to knuckle down and give him their all. He added: “You need to change your mind and give your best in that situation for the manager, because I am the boss.

“If I demand something then you need to provide. You need to your commitment on the pitch, from the bench, sometimes from outside. That is sometimes the most important because that means being professional.

“Why create a problem that can only disturb or not help the club? If you don’t like your manager, in the moment your kill your manager. But you damage yourself first and then your company. The fans pay your salary every month.”

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