Mauricio Pochettino has suggested Tottenham must sell their ageing stars in order to make way for new players who can take the team to the next level.
Mousa Dembele, 31, left for the Chinese Super League earlier this month and Toby Alderweireld’s future continues to be a source of speculation.
The 29-year-old defender has extended his contract until the end of next season but has activated a £25 million release clause that can be triggered in the summer transfer window.
Spurs are yet to win a trophy under Pochettino, and the Argentinian has admitted the club may need to move on certain players if they are to take the next step towards winning titles.
“To be successful or win titles, you always need to improve,” Pochettino said (via the London Evening Standard). “You can’t keep doing the same, and in every transfer window, you need to say, ‘Okay, how can I improve the team?’
“Sometimes it’s about improving your structure, your facilities and sometimes it’s a moment to invest in the team.
“But sometimes – and it’s so painful – you need to say, ‘OK, I love this player, he helped us arrive at this level but now, if we are going to achieve another level, we need to improve and we need to bring in another player.
“The only way we can reach the next level, and win titles, is by improving, improving, improving.
“We’re all getting older. The players can get more mature but at some point, they need another challenge, another experience, another goal, as always happens in life, and we need to be open to improve.”
Tottenham fans will be hoping Pochettino isn’t also referring to Christian Eriksen, who has been heavily linked with a summer move to Real Madrid in recent weeks.
The Dane’s current deal expires at the end of next season and it is believed he is stalling on signing a new contract with Spurs.
His sale would certainly free up funds for new recruits, but losing a player of Eriksen’s quality could have a negative effect on the club’s stature.