Mauricio Pochettino made it clear a few months before his Tottenham departure that a “painful” rebuild needed to take place at the club.
Turning Spurs into Champions League regulars after only a couple of years in the hotseat, the Argentine also had his young team going close in the title race.
Sides at the top know they cannot afford to stand still and it was evident that Pochettino needed to keep adding to his squad to keep everyone on their toes and see the team compete with the league’s best season after season.
At a time when Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was under construction, Spurs went without in the transfer market in both windows during the 2018/19 campaign but the 49-year-old still managed to work miracles.
Not only recording another top-four finish to see Tottenham retain their place in the Champions League, he also got his team to the final of Europe’s premier competition against all the odds.
Speaking a few days after their semi-final first leg defeat against Ajax, Pochettino sent a warning to Daniel Levy over what needed to happen in N17.
“When you talk about Tottenham, everyone says you have an amazing house but you need to put in the furniture,” he explained.
“If you want to have a lovely house maybe you need better furniture. And it depends on your budget if you are going to spend money. We need to be respectful with teams like Manchester City or Liverpool who spend a lot of money. We are brave, we are clever, we are creative.
“Now it’s about creating another chapter and to have the clear idea of how we are going to build that new project. We need to rebuild. It’s going to be painful.”
Pochettino’s rebuild of sorts did start to take place in the weeks after their Champions League final defeat as up-and-coming youngster Jack Clarke signed on from Leeds United, before Tanguy Ndombele joined from Lyon for a club-record fee.
Giovani Lo Celso, a player the head coach was intent on signing, arrived on a season-long loan deal from Real Betis, while Ryan Sessegnon finally joined from Fulham following plenty of speculation regarding a move across the capital in the past.
However, Pochettino barely got any time to work with his new additions prior to his November 2019 dismissal due to a variety of different reasons.
Clarke rejoined Leeds on loan as part of Spurs’ agreement with the West Yorkshire club, with Sessegnon not available until the Argentine’s final two games in charge after arriving in north London carrying a hamstring injury.
Lo Celso’s minutes were also restricted at a time when Pochettino was looking to ease him in as a hip issue sustained on international duty saw him ruled out of eight matches.
Ndombele was the summer signing who did feature a bit more regularly for Spurs, but fitness issues and his struggles to cope with the demands of football in England saw him only play the full 90 minutes four times for his manager.
Following his departure from the capital 18 months ago, the current Paris Saint-Germain boss may well have the opportunity to work with his 2019 summer signings again if Levy can strike an agreement with the French club for his services.
football.london understands that not only have Spurs spoken to him about a return to the club but the highly-rated manager would also be keen on coming back to Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Making it clear 12 months ago that he would one day like to take on the job again at some point in the future to finish what he started, the chance to do so could come around a lot sooner than initially expected.
That in turn means that Pochettino’s final Tottenham signings may have the chance to play for him once again and try hit the heights they never could under Jose Mourinho.
Ndombele did show a big improvement under the Portuguese with some great displays but struggled for consistency, while a variety of injuries has meant Lo Celso has had such a stop-start career at Spurs so far.
Sessegnon will also be looking to kick on under Pochettino if he is appointed as he will return a much better player following his season-long loan spell in Germany.
Clarke is another who will also be hoping to recapture the form that saw him alert Premier League clubs after some frustrating loan spells in the Championship over the past two years.
All brought to the club for a specific reason by Pochettino as he started his Tottenham rebuild, the potential homecoming of the Argentine may be what is needed to see them finally flourish at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Source by Football London