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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Pochettino not watching Shane Long

Two and two makes five or it seems to for many a website. So Mauricio Pochettino watched a football game with Shane Long's agent Paul Dolan, so what.

Were there not 23 other players playing in the game?

We have scouted extensively in Holland, Ireland's opponents in the game and were interested in Memphis Depay if his price was right, which it wasn't. Manchester United overpaid for him and he had a disappointing season for them. An example of why you don't just pay whatever a club asks and why you value a player yourself then stick to your own valuation.

We have also scouted 26-year-old (27 in January) Kevin Strootman, a highly rated Dutch international who went to Italy and has a season interrupted by injury. He has managed just 6 games for Roma, a total of 233 minutes.

Then there is wide attacker Georginio Wijnaldum, a player I speculated we would be linked with and then ten days later we duly were. He is the Newcastle winger who is too good for the Championship and is reconsidering his future in light of their relegation.

Joël Veltman is a 24-year-old (25 in January) centre-back we were strongly linked with back in 2014. As with many other players we have tried to sign, we will have kept an eye on his progress and we are in the market for a replacement for Federico Fazio. The Ajax defender was playing at right-back so has the versatility Pochettino likes. Toby Alderweireld plays right-back for Belgium and Jan Vertonghen plays left-back, that hasn't affected their central defensive game.

Jeffrey Bruma is a 24-year-old centre-back for Dutch champions PSV Eindhoven, Virgil van Dijk has had a season at Southampton. Then there is 21-year-old (22 in June) striker Vincent Janssen who was the leading scorer in the Dutch league and thus there have been suggestions Pochettino was watching him. There is the odd suggestion that we have started negotiations with AZ Alkmaar for him. That may well be guesswork based on a Sky Sports guessing article, someone on Twitter attempting to say we brought you transfer news first, plenty of that goes on. Everton, Man United, Liverpool and Arsenal are also reported to be interested in him.

There are plenty of players Mauricio Pochettino could be watching, jumping onto the thought it must be Shane Long is the lazy option, especially as at 29 (30 in January) he is too old for us.



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