Mauricio Pochettino has reiterated Tottenham tried to sign players in the summer transfer window but the club’s targets were “unaffordable” in the end.
Spurs failed to bring in a single new recruit over the summer despite pushing hard to sign Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish in the final few days of the window.
Villa’s new owners were unwilling to let Grealish leave and Tottenham ended up with no one, but the Londoners did manage to keep the likes of Danny Rose, Toby Alderweireld and Mousa Dembele, who had all been expected to depart.
After winning their first three games of the season, Spurs’ form has been indifferent since a 3-0 victory over Manchester United – although they have made their best ever start to a Premier League campaign.
Onlookers have put some of Tottenham’s bad results down to a lack of transfer activity, leading to questions about the club’s philosophy in the market.
But Pochettino insists Spurs tried to sign players before being priced out by potential sellers.
“You know the market and you know you’re going to compete with different clubs,” said the Argentinian (via ESPN). “Maybe you have money. But how much?
“Let’s say I have £1, you have £10, the next person has £100, the next £1,000. Yes, I have money to spend but is it enough or not? That is different.
“If you want to sign Player X and you ask for him and it’s £100 million, well I have money but not enough to sign what we need or what we want. Then you need to move on – and maybe the player you need is not in the market.
“We tried to sign but we couldn’t achieve what we needed or what we wanted.
“I think one thing is to make clear: all the coaching staff and managers always want to improve the squad – sometimes signing players and sometimes adding players from the academy.
“Of course we are always trying to improve our squad, because football is dynamic. Every six months you need to do something to refresh and to wake up, or to change the dynamic in the dressing room.
“But if you cannot achieve what you need or want, then to sign because you need to make happy people or act like all the clubs, I think that’s not common sense. We showed that we don’t care and we are not politicians or populists.
“It’s easy to say ‘we’re going to sign three players and oh look, the people are happy because we signed.’ But if we don’t need the players who are available then why are we going to sign them? That’s the point.”
Tottenham face West Ham United in a Premier League London derby on Saturday.