Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Pochettino open to new signings but Janssen to remain a Spurs outcast

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 23 Jan 2019

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Mauricio Pochettino says Tottenham are working on possible transfers in the final week of the window but will not recall Vincent Janssen to the squad to cover for injuries.

The loss of Harry Kane and Dele Alli to respective ankle and hamstring injuries, while Son Heung-min is away with South Korea at the Asian Cup, has left Spurs with something of a crisis in attack.

Pochettino insists recent selection problems will not change Spurs’ transfer policy, but he says they are open to new arrivals before February.

“I think it’s clear. I am so open to improve the squad and add players, with Harry Kane and Dele Alli fit or not fit. It’s so important to have a clear message for everyone,” he told a news conference.

“I was open in summer, I’m open now, but the different thing is reality. It’s difficult for us to add players that can help us or improve our squad. But it’s not that now we suffer some injuries, we are going to change our strategy. Our strategy is so clear.

“We were so open to find the right profile and the right player to improve us. We are working. We’ll see what happens until the end. We were always open to improve the squad.

“I think it’s always going to be difficult because if it was difficult in summer, because we had the squad full, we didn’t have space to sign players because we didn’t sell players, now of course it’s difficult, too. I think that transfer window is always the most difficult.

“There are not too many transfers, there are a lot of loans, [and] it’s difficult to find the right player for all the clubs. To find the right profile to help us is going to be difficult, but we are trying.” 

Georges-Kevin Nkoudou marked his first Premier League outing of the season on Sunday with an assist for Harry Winks’ last-gasp winner at Fulham, and he is likely to be involved in Thursday’s EFL Cup semi-final second leg with Chelsea.

However, Pochettino has no plans to hand a similar recall to Janssen, who has been training with the Under-23 side since recovering from a foot injury that hampered his chances of leaving the club in the previous transfer window.

“It’s one year and a half that he is not in our plans, and that is okay. He is not in the club’s plan,” he said of Janssen, who signed on a four-year deal in July 2016 for a reported £17million fee but has not played in the Premier League since August 2017.

“Eighteen months ago, we took the decision to try to find for him a different place to play. For different reasons, it didn’t work. That happens in football. Some relationships between player and club will not work.

“We are trying to help him to get fit as soon as possible. He is training with the Under-23s. The club is trying to help him find his best and then try to find a club where he can be happy again and start to play again. But here, it’s impossible.

 “I saw him every day here in the changing room and the restaurant. That is not a personal problem. It’s the professional side. For different reasons, when that professional relationship is not working, we need to find a solution.”

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