Why Spurs’ Lack of Transfer Activity Could Determine the Future of Pochettino4 min read
Mauricio Pochettino anticipated Spurs’ summer struggles in the transfer market. He foresaw how difficult it would be to sign players during and after the World Cup. He underlined the importance of getting business done early. The North London club didn’t heed their manager’s warnings, though.
With less than two weeks of the transfer window left, Spurs have yet to make a single signing. Of course, they are a club almost entirely occupied by the construction of their new, state-of-the-art stadium at the moment, but while seats are being installed and floodlights are being wired Spurs have dropped the ball in the strengthening of their squad.
This has put Pochettino in a difficult position in more than one way. The Argentinean has been forced to backtrack on some of his comments made towards the end of last season, when he demanded transfer market investment. “Last season I told you some numbers, but this season we don’t know,” he said this week. “I don’t know if we are going to sign or not. We’re working on that. I cannot tell you if we’re going to sign one, zero or two or three or four.”
Compared to Jose Mourinho, Pochettino appears rather relaxed about his lack of summer additions. By nature, the Argentinean is a coach and so he will coach what he is handed. Pochettino might request signings, he may recommend targets, but he is not in control of Spurs’ transfer strategy.
However, Pochettino finds himself at a critical juncture of his Spurs career. His stock is as high as it has ever been, attracting the attention of super-clubs like Real Madrid, who wanted the Argentinean to replace Zinedine Zidane this summer. Spurs might have kept their manager this time, but others will come calling in the years to come. And that’s where their transfer market struggles this summer could become a real problem.
What has happened over the past few weeks and months could sow a seed of doubt in the mind of Pochettino. Considering the way he has been denied the signing he so clearly wanted this summer, what assurances will he be given should another club of Real Madrid’s stature raise their interest? What would keep him at Spurs?
This season will be a crucial one for Pochettino in North London. He is expected to take Spurs on step further in their development, but without the resources afforded to many of his rivals. Pochettino has worked minor miracles at Spurs and now he is expected to do it again. Eventually, this burden might test his patience. There could be a knock-on effect.