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Friday, 22 June 2018

Will Martial be the result of the Levy Pochettino meeting?

Will Martial be the result of the Levy Pochettino meeting?


Young Talent

For the last couple of years now Tottenham have been looking to sign the best young talent in Europe. However, so has everyone else which makes these deals difficult, long and often fruitless.

We tried to sign 22-year-old (23 next March) striker Timo Werner, expected to develop into the new German number 9 for years to come, from VfB Stuttgart. He moved to ER Leipzig, hit 21 goals and had 10 assists in 45 games. His minutes played equated to 37.74 full games.

Now he has told the media that to become world class, his ambition, he must leave the Bundesliga and move to a club where he can play UEFA Champions League and be challenging for trophies each season.

We tried to sign 22-year-old (23 in December) Anthony Martial from Monaco, but Manchester United blew us out f the water with a £52.6 million (€60m) package. Now he is looking to move on and we are interested again.

Just two examples, but there are plenty more.

Matthijs de Ligt

Now we are trying to sign a player considered the hottest central defensive prospect in Europe, 18-year-old (19 in August) Ajax captain Matthijs de Ligt. Reports from Italy say we have made an offer of £48.21 million (€55m) that Juventus can not match.

Now that doesn't mean he'll come to Spurs simply because we offer more money, it all boils down to where he chooses to play football, but I do think this signals a more determined approach on our part.

Reports say we have moved on, which suggests he has decided where he wants to play or that Ajax insistence on a loan back deal is totally unacceptable. Things can alays change and the fact he has put in a transfer request puts a different complexion on things. Man City are reportedly ready to offer even more and Ajax are said to be likely to reject that too.

A lot was made of the Pochettino talks with Daniel Levy before he signed a new contract and a lot of nonsense was written about Pochettino's comments about taking risks.

To my mind, it meant securing more of our main transfer targets and I think our determination to get Anthony Martial, who we are going to make further efforts for demonstrates that. The risk he was talking about was to simply spend a little more to secure them, the risk being that they come off.

We had our fingers burnt with Roberto Soldado and Erik Lamela, who hasn't turned into the Gareth Bake replacement we were hoping for.

I don't think previously we would have bid £48.21 million for de Ligt, now though, with UEFA Champions League football secured for a third successive season and a new stadium nearly ready, we can spend that bit extra to sign the best young talent. I don't think we can afford both de Ligt and Martial if they are going to be top prices, that would leave little left for other areas of the teams and we need two central midfielders yet.

Should they not work, then, as youngsters, we should still be able to get our money back on them if they have to move on. Like it or not that has to be a consideration. Without regular Champions League football the money isn't there to do that, hence the time being right now.

Now don't get me wrong, we are not looking at every signing like this, just a select few, but it once again demonstrates that Pochettino and Levy sing from the same hymn sheet. Both are trying to create a dynasty, both know this is a long-term project, both understand money isn't finite, both understand the club has to be built in a sustainable way while the team grows and that neither can put the other in jeopardy, that a fine balance has to trod.

Mone can be spent when it is there and this summer is quite a big one with the purchases we want and the player sales we want to help fund those.

The meeting wasn't and them and us confrontation meeting, merely two people who know investment in the team must take place. They were simply agreeing on a process of doing it, a new timescale, given we are ahead of where we expected to be. The expectation is that this coming season would have perhaps been our first in the UEFA Champions League since our initial toe dipping.

When you set goals and work out how to get there, you have to continually analyse that plan and make periodic adjustment as the climate changes. The pair have adjusted, with increased revenue and exposure from the Champions League, that plan and were able to write the next chapter.

The club is evolving and this could be marked as the beginning of a new chapter in that growth.


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