Mauricio Pochettino has admitted it was a mistake to leave certain players, including Juan Foyth, out of Tottenham’s Champions League squad at the beginning of the season.
Foyth, Georges-Kevin N’Koudou and Vincent Janssen were all omitted from the European squad to make room for others.
But since the summer, Foyth has proven himself to be an important member of the first-team squad.
The Argentinian started in Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Chelsea and has been crucial in the absence of Davinson Sanchez and Jan Vertonghen through injury.
Vertonghen is now back in full training and in contention to play against Inter Milan at Wembley on Wednesday night, but Pochettino would still prefer to have Foyth as an option.
And despite the fact N’Koudou has only played in the EFL Cup and Janssen is yet to feature at all this term, Pochettino admits he feels sorry for all of the omitted players.
“It’s so painful,”said the Spurs boss (via ESPN). “It’s a mistake that we made that at this level of football we cannot repeat again. For different reasons we need to find solutions before the start of the season.
“I think we’ve talked [before] and if you find my speech from the beginning of the season, I was so disappointed because the squad was so big.
“When the people say ‘you’re the only club that didn’t sign any players,’ to sign another player means to put another player out of the list for the Champions League. I told you we need English players, but it was impossible.
“Of course now that is the problem and it’s so painful to have players out of the list. Now we’re going to finish [the group stage] and then we hope in March we can do a new list and include him in the list for the Champions League.
“I’m so disappointed with that situation. I’m happy with him (Foyth), his evolution. He’s going to play of course and he’s showed great quality, but I’m disappointed that we cannot come with him in the Champions League.”
Tottenham must beat Inter Milan to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League group stages alive.