Spurs boss: New stadium means we cannot afford to make expensive mistakes in transfer market
Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham’s stadium project means they cannot afford to make expensive mistakes in the transfer market and must spend their money astutely.
Harry Kane has been Spurs’ only specialist striker in the first half of the season and it would be a big risk for the club to continue into February without recruiting another forward.
However, Pochettino has pointed out that Arsenal’s transfer budget was affected by their move to Emirates Stadium for many years, and he has suggested that the Lilywhites will only spend in excess of £15million on a player if they can be certain it represents good value.
“For me when you spend more than £15m, £16m or £18m you must first have a player that brings good things like good behaviour, discipline, responsibility, professionalism,” he said. “This is first, and he also has to have enough quality to improve the squad.
“In this case, for us at Tottenham, we are in a different project than a few years ago. We are in the process of building a new stadium and you know the period that another club experienced. For us it’s important to get it right.
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“If we spend £20m, £25m or £30m we need to be sure that this type of player has the kind of impact that Gareth Bale or Cristiano Ronaldo has for Real Madrid, or [Lionel] Messi or Neymar for Barcelona.
“We’d need to be speaking about a player that is our best player and he’d need to help us to achieve a lot of things. It’s impossible to sign players for this amount and then have to wait for them to perform.”
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Asked if Tottenham are likely to spend those kinds of sums in this transfer winter window, Pochettino replied: “No I think that’s not our project, it’s not the case today. Maybe in the future.”
Pochettino admits he has made mistakes with previous recruits – notably when he signed Dani Osvaldo for a club record fee at Southampton.
The Italian striker head-butted team-mate Jose Fonte in training and moved to Juventus on loan less than six months after his arrival. He was released by the Saints last July, halfway through his four-year contract.
Experiences like that mean Pochettino places a high importance on the character of his players and, having worked hard to cultivate a positive, hard-working atmosphere in Tottenham’s dressing room, he is anxious not to disrupt it by making a hurried purchase.
Asked if he has ever regretted a signing, the head coach said: “Yes, because I am not God. In football you can always make mistakes.
“Because of different circumstances, sometimes you can make a mistake – in my tactics, in my vision of the opponent or our team or my selection, and signing players too.
“I can say to you now, in this case, I think it was our mistake [to sign Osvaldo] because of what he showed after. You know the problem with Jose Fonte and in this moment you realise it was a mistake.
“I can recognise that and Osvaldo, to be fair, he recognised it was a big mistake for him to come, and for us to sign him. I am very honest with that.
“We took a decision to put him out of the changing room because discipline, good behaviour and always being kind with your team-mates, it’s very important for us. It was unacceptable behaviour and for that we were very strong with him.
“It’s a consequence of our decisions that we have a good changing room now [at Tottenham]. It’s not magic. We have worked very hard to try to build good relationships between the players, to create with all the staff and everyone at the club a very good level of training, discipline and mentality, and this is important to keep now.
“I’ve been asked about Gareth Bale. He is a player that is welcome in the changing room because we know him, or if we had the possibility to sign Messi or Neymar, it’s impossible to say no.
“The problem is if you bring in a player who is a normal player and not a good guy. Then you say, ‘for what?’ For the sake of it? They have to have the right profile and enough quality to help us to improve the squad.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs