Tottenham’s summer transfer plans are beginning to come into focus following the Daily Mail’s recent assertion that boss Mauricio Pochettino will only target players aged 26 or under, in order to facilitate his Marcelo Bielsa-inspired high-intensity pressing style.
As the Mail pointed out, Spurs have been quietly following this strategy since the Argentine took over at White Hart Lane last summer.
Pochettino purchases Eric Dier, Benjamin Stambouli, Ben Davies, DeAndre Yedlin and Dele Alli are all aged between 18-24, meaning centre-half Federico Fazio (28) and second-choice goalkeeper Michel Vorm (31) are the only signings to have broken the rule.
Kyle Walker, Christian Eriksen, Danny Rose, Harry Kane, Ryan Mason and Nabil Bentaleb are all under 26, and the latter trio are having unexpectedly fine seasons under the new gaffer, so it’s easy to see why the 43-year-old is sticking to his guns.
Southampton’s 26-and-under trio Morgan Schneiderlin, Jay Rodriguez and Toby Alderweireld, on loan from Atletico Madrid, were mentioned in the paper as likely targets, but after Spurs reportedly sent a scout to Valencia’s 4-0 La Liga win away to Elche over the weekend, it seems Pochettino isn’t simply focusing on his old employers.
There have been rumours doing the rounds for a while that Spurs will ‘join the race’ for Los Che’s 22-year-old centre-half Shkodran Mustafi, the Germany international centre-half/right-back who spent two-and-a-half years at Everton between 2009-2012.
Former Real Madrid man Dani Parejo, a 25-year-old midfielder who turned out in the Championship on loan at QPR back in 2008, is also thought to be on the Lilywhites’ radar, as is wing-forward Sofiane Feghouli.
The Algeria international notched the opener in the Fennec Foxes’ 2-1 loss to Belgium during the group stage of the World Cup, and has bagged three goals and five assists in the Spanish top flight this term.
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