Pochettino expects a quiet January transfer window at Tottenham
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Mauricio Pochettino is expecting a quiet January transfer window at Tottenham – and he says the club has already shown its ambition by extending the contracts of 10 players.
Harry Kane and Jan Vertonghen last week followed Dele Alli, Christian Eriksen, Eric Dier, Harry Winks, Tom Carroll, Kyle Walker, Danny Rose and Cameron Carter-Vickers in agreeing new deals since the start of the season, and Pochettino is happy to go into the second half of the campaign with his existing group of players.
“I think in January it’s always difficult to find the right profile to help you, and always when you bring players from outside there’s not much time for them to settle at your club and in your philosophy, for many reasons,” said the manager.
“I think it will be difficult to find that profile that can help us - but the club is doing a very good job of extending the contracts of the key players, and I think that is how we can show our real ambition, and how the players show their commitment with us. I think that is a bigger statement from the club, to show what our ambition is for the future.”
Tottenham announced in early August that head of recruitment Paul Mitchell would be leaving the club – but the 35-year-old has not yet departed.
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“Paul Mitchell is still working for us and then yes, I think it’s a normal process to find another person that can cope with his job in the future,” said Pochettino. “I think the attitude here at Tottenham is we need to replace him - we believe that, the club believes it, not only me.”
Spurs appear to have put a disappointing spell behind them as they prepare to visit Manchester United on Sunday.
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The Lilywhites only managed to win one of their 10 games in all competitions between October 15 and November 26, but they have recorded back-to-back wins in the past week, albeit against weak opposition in Swansea and CSKA Moscow.
This weekend’s trip to Old Trafford will provide a better barometer of how Tottenham are progressing and, as he contemplates his side’s current position, Pochettino admits he has mixed views.
“This week it’s not too easy to explain my feelings because we are out of the Champions League and we have played the last Champions League game at Wembley,” he said.
“If we compare with [the same time] last season, we have two points more in the Premier League and we’re in the same position because we’re in the next round of the Europa League.
“I think we’re in a similar position to last season, but better because we have two points more. But it’s too difficult to say we’ve improved from last season – this Premier League is more competitive, it’s a different Premier League than last season.
“But I think we’re happy in the way we’re playing with all the problems we had in the last month and a half – there have been a lot of problems, some injuries that last season we didn’t have.
“When we assess from the beginning of the season how the team is, we need to be pleased with the performance and the way we’re playing.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs