Friday, March 31, 2023

A Peak Into Tottenham’s Brilliant Transfer Business – Poch Deserves A Lot Of Credit

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Yash Shah
A skeptical mystic who likes to channel his inner loneliness into drumming and dissection of football games. Dreams of watching Tottenham play at the new White Hart Lane. Has spent a majority of the last two years on foul-mouthing Moussa Sissoko and worrying about his receding hairline.

Tottenham’s acquisition of two decent signings in the form of Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen suggests a shrewd and measured approach by Mauricio Pochettino in the transfer market. While other clubs in the Premier League have gone for players who were involved in the Euros or the Copa America, Tottenham has acquired the services of two good players who weren’t involved in any of the competitions. Although this approach can be understood to be purely coincidental, the players will be relatively fresher for the start of the new Premier League campaign. Tottenham has also addressed both the positions which needed his immediate attention by the two signings.

In addition, Tottenham also hasn’t been involved in mindlessly chasing players despite their hugely inflated price tags and have looked elsewhere for options, often carrying the whole exercise under the radar. Instead of gambling on expensive signings which often invite pressure, he has paid attention to buying the ones who weren’t yet finished products but had the potential to be decent and these have generally been available at reasonable prices. The current policy also suggests a strong coherence between Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino and also underlines the fact that Pochettino is aware of the club’s future plans and has achieved the desired targets despite being financial restraints.

Two successive transfer windows have shown a substantial increase in the cost and quality of the players bought by Pochettino. In Pochettino’s first season for Tottenham, he went for relatively cheap players (six players in the £1m-£10m bracket and one swap deal involving Ben Davies and Gylfi Sigurdsson). In the subsequent season, he went for players who were relatively more expensive which involved three players in the £1m-£10m bracket and three players in the bracket of £11m-£25m).

While this year the emphasis has been purely on players who are relatively costlier players, with all the three players in the bracket of £11m-£20m. Both Victor Wanyama and Vincent Janssen both fall in this bracket and so does Tottenham’s imminent signing Kevin N’Koudou. Even Tottenham’s reported target Matthias Ginter falls in the same category. Although the gaffer hasn’t compromised on the continuous influx of young and hungry players, the quality of players approached has had a steady increase. Also, the players have been hand-picked to suit his relentless running, pressing and immediate attempts to regain possession approach. There is an obvious change in the quality of the targeted players as the club tries to take advantage of their ascent to the Champions League.

Tottenham now has almost every position covered up by a decent backup option. In addition, there are no particularly weak players but there are some areas which can be upgraded upon with some investment. This can probably only be done if Pochettino goes for proven players with heavy price tags which will be difficult given Tottenham’s financial future plans. Nevertheless, Pochettino can certainly improve the squad by slowly and steadily developing his younger players.

It is perhaps not too hard to imagine that many of the players will be sold off. It remains to be seen whether players like Tom Carroll and Nabil Bentaleb manage to keep their place in the squad or are sold in the face of continuous progressivism. Their status in the team does seem quite dubious after a recent press conference in which Pochettino cast doubt on futures of Nabil Bentaleb, Alex Pritchard and Federico Fazio.

Hopefully, the new signings can strike the right cords for the club and help Tottenham continue their development as a unit. Pochettino also recently suggested in a press conference that he is looking to sign more players for the club.


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