Spurs boss: Why signing a striker is like falling in love
Mauricio Pochettino has likened Tottenham’s efforts to sign a striker to falling in love and finding ‘the one’.
Harry Kane is set to be the only senior forward available to Pochettino again as Spurs host Everton on Saturday, with West Bromwich Albion rejecting Spurs’ attempts to add Saido Berahino to their front line.
That is a source of frustration for Lilywhites fans, who would have liked to see an obvious gap in the squad filled before the start of the season – and certainly before the fourth game of the campaign.
But, asked why the club have not yet signed a striker, Pochettino responded: “It’s always about the profile. There are a lot of players around the world that you can sign. But it’s like when you are in love with some lady – there are a lot of women around the world but you want only one.
“It’s about love - and in football it’s the same. For us it’s important to add the right profile [of player], who can play under our style, our philosophy.
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“I think Tottenham have a lot of examples in the past that maybe it is sometimes better to play the younger players, and players who have come through the academy, and maybe it’s a mistake [signing players of the wrong profile] because you pay for a long time.
“I want to help the club, so that when we sign a player we are 99 per cent sure it is the right player for us.
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“Sometimes you need to take a decision, sometimes you need to wait, and sometimes it’s difficult for people to understand why we do not sign a player. But I think it’s important to have the conviction that you are in a good way and you have the right player.”
Having stated the need to “punch before the opponent” in the transfer market at the start of the summer, Tottenham still have important business to do before the window closes at 6pm on Tuesday.
But Pochettino said: “We have signed Dele Alli, [Kevin] Wimmer, [Kieran] Trippier, we signed [Toby] Alderwiereld - we have signed the players we wanted to. But to bring another player in, you always have to work hard.
“I think we are in a good position, we have brought in [Clinton] N’Jie too. For a player we want to bring in, it’s never easy, and we need to wait - but the good thing is we only have to wait five days to the end of the transfer window.”
It remains to be seen how much Tottenham will have to pay to land Berahino – or, rather, how much they are willing to pay, after a second bid thought to be around £22m was rejected this week.
“It’s true that the teams that pay a lot of money increase the price in the market,” said Pochettino. “Always when Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal - although not Arsenal today – [are involved], they increase a lot the price of the player in the market and it is difficult for another club to sign, but I think our targets are different than their targets.
“If the price of the player increases in the market it is because the teams are getting in more money. Today you pay more than you would two or three years ago because clubs will get more money from the TV, sponsors and different business. It is difficult to compare.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs