Daniel Levy’s Chaotic Transfer War Puts Tottenham Under Pressure
Levy’s poorly executed transfer deals, especially the one involving Saido Berahino, has put more pressure on Mauricio Pochettino who now has very few top-flight players to achieve his goal of finishing among the top four in the Premier League this season.
Mauricio Pochettino is a relatively quiet manager who prefers to leave issues like transfers to other top club management officials. That is why Daniel Levy, Spurs chairman, likes him and wants him to oversee the club for the next few years before Tottenham moves to their newly built stadium.
However, Pochettino demonstrated his desperation for a suitable support for Harry Kane when he put some pressure on Daniel Levy and said that the pursuit of a striker is similar to the quest for true love. He said when you are in love with a lady, you forget about all the other women around and focus on the one you love. The former Southampton boss wanted one striker badly – Saido Berahino.
The former England under-21 striker, who currently plays for West Brom, is a young player with great pace and sustained aggression within the penalty area. With respect to Berahino and other key targets, Pochettino made it clear in April, before the end of the last Premier League season that Spurs need to move quickly and build a strong team. Unfortunately, Levy did not appreciate the urgent need to complete all transfer deals early and so the much needed signing of Berahino did not sail through before the curtains closed on the transfer window.
Obviously, Pochettino was not expecting Levy to delay these all-important transfer decisions till the last day of the pre-season transfer window, especially when an additional top class striker and defensive midfielder were critically needed to make the team sharper up front and more balanced at the centre. Pochettino will not want to keep disappointing Tottenham fans who have paid to watch Spurs play live and deliver the type of results that made them finish 5th last season. To join Tottenham fans live at White Hart Lane, click here for more info about Premier League tickets.
Although it is great to have the consent of a player, Levy’s failure shows that the approval of the selling club is now more important. Consequently, as the 6 pm deadline drew nearer on Tuesday, September 1st, Levy lost all opportunities to seal any of the deals Spurs had been pursuing. Zenit St. Petersburg’s midfielder, Axel Witsel, demanded to be released to move to Tottenham but the club’s officials refused, even with a €70 million offer, because they could not find a replacement for Witsel.
Similarly, Victor Wanyama, the Kenyan Southampton midfielder, informed Ronald Koeman that he wanted to join Tottenham and be re-united with his former boss. Subsequently, he was absent from the squad that secured the home win for the Saints by defeating Norwich City 3 – 0. But Southampton never intended to lose
another key player at the tail end of the transfer window and so they rejected Tottenham’s ₤20 million bid.
In the same vein, Tottenham lost their bid for Berahino because nothing acceptable was presented until the last day. Berahino was reported to have sent in a formal transfer request to the club’s management but this made no real difference. Tony Pulis was prepared to let go of Berahino but West Brom were not prepared to trade one of their best players simply because they were offered ₤20 million.
David Levy, however, should not be crucified for his poor handling of these transfer bids. With the cost of the new stadium estimated at ₤400 million, he is most likely trying to maintain balanced books while his club finishes at a fairly respectable position. In the last six seasons, Tottenham finished 5th, 6th, 5th, 4th, 5th, and 4th. This is their most consistent set of achievements since the glorious 1960s.
Now, Pochettino has no other option than to motivate his squad of youthful players, 50% of whom are younger than 24. With a desperate need to improve on Tottenham’s poor start this season, a lot of pressure will be on recent signings: Son Heung-min, from Bayer Leverkusen and Clinton Njie from Lyon. Spurs must do everything they can to win their next match against Sunderland on Sunday.