LONDON – Mauricio Pochettino admits Tottenham’s injury woes could force his club to return to the transfer market for the first time in a year.
Pochettino had expected Tottenham would sit out the current transfer period as they budget for the cost of their long-delayed new stadium.
That would make it consecutive windows without a single new player arriving at the north London club, whose last signing was Lucas Moura in January 2018.
But Tottenham, who face Crystal Palace in the FA Cup fourth round on Sunday, have been rocked by injuries to Harry Kane and Dele Alli, with both England stars ruled out until March.
Adding to Pochettino’s frustration, Moussa Sissoko and Ben Davies suffered injuries in Tottenham’s League Cup semi-final defeat at Chelsea on Thursday.
Asked whether there was a chance of making a signing before Thursday’s 2300 GMT transfer deadline, Pochettino said: “Always, we’ll see. Still six days. We are working. We have a few options.
“We’ll see if we are capable of delivering, but in the same way of course, we have the squad.”
Pochettino is looking at both English and overseas players, but does not want a repeat of the situation that saw Tottenham defender Juan Foyth omitted from their Champions League group stage squad because there were not enough home-grown players on the list.
“Now we have maybe one space because Mousa Dembele has gone,” he added.
“But we need to be careful because for the Champions League, I think we are not going to... if it’s a player that is not an English player, we don’t have the space, because it was Juan Foyth (that missed out), and that is so important to be careful about the decision.
“But we are always hoping to try to add quality and try to improve the squad. We are open (to make a move), like always. Different options. In England, outside of England.”
Tottenham’s problems eased a little on Friday when South Korea were knocked out of the Asian Cup by Qatar, meaning Son Heung-min will be back with Pochettino’s side earlier than expected.
TEAM NEWS: @HKane (ankle) & @dele_official (hamstring) - continuing early stages of rehabilitation. @MoussaSissoko (knee) - being assessed by medical staff ahead of Sunday.@Ben_Davies33 (groin) - continuing assessment with medical staff, unavailable this weekend. #COYS pic.twitter.com/GXfp3XSxbQ— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) January 25, 2019
But their League Cup exit against Chelsea leaves the club still waiting for their first trophy since 2008.
It was the latest in a growing list of Tottenham flops on the biggest occasions, but Pochettino is adamant his team are heading in the right direction.
“We showed in the two legs the right mentality. We competed with all of the circumstances that were not for us, were against us,” he said.
“Yesterday after 2-0 the second half and the way we approached it, how we played, how brave we were on the pitch, I’m very confident for the future.
“If football is a fair sport, it will reward us at the end of the season, but we need to keep fighting. Sunday is the best medicine to feel good again.”AFP