Mauricio Pochettino: Early transfer deadline was a ‘massive mistake’
Spurs could lose Eriksen to Real Madrid as Spanish transfer window open until September 2nd
Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen with manager Mauricio Pochettino. Photograph: Reuters
Mauricio Pochettino has described the decision to close the domestic summer transfer window in early August as a “massive mistake” and claims he has even persuaded Tottenham’s hard-nosed chairman, Daniel Levy, of the same thing.
Pochettino could still lose Christian Eriksen to Real Madrid as the Spanish transfer window does not shut until September 2nd. Were that to happen Pochettino would be unable to replace one of Tottenham’s key players until January at the earliest. Italy, France and Germany have the same deadline as Spain.
“I wasn’t in agreement [with the decision] but at that moment they believed that was best for the clubs,” said the Spurs manager. “But I think he [Levy] and a lot of people now realise it was a massive mistake. I hope that we fix the problem for the next season.
“We need to go back and operate in the same way that they operate in Europe because I think it’s massive when you go to compete in the Europa League or Champions League. Champions League teams can create a problem for a team like us and it’s so clear that I cannot be happy as a coach that in the last three weeks clubs from Europe can unsettle your team. For me it’s not common sense and we need to go back quick, hope they have a good conversation at the Premier League and go back quickly [to how it was].”
Pochettino spoke after his side secured a point at Manchester City in dramatic fashion, with VAR ruling out Gabriel Jesus’s stoppage-time winner on the basis of a handball by Aymeric Laporte in the build-up to the goal. The manager was proud of the display and pointed to how his club has a different model regarding building his squad.
“We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn’t win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player,” he said. “Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player. And, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.
“When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it’s a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.”
Pochettino added: “I don’t like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55 million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid. Now we’ve sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing. Maybe he was the fourth, fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it’s important people realise we’re building players and that they’re still young.
“He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [on Saturday] and the best team. So it’s a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.
“They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham.”