Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed the extent to which he pursued Juan Foyth and backed the youngster to make a mark at Spurs. Reports from Evening Standard indicate that Pochettino took three months to convince the defender to join Tottenham.
It was a long-drawn pursuit and Spurs finally signed the highly-rated youngster from Estudiantes only a day before the summer transfer deadline. Hailed as one of the most talented defenders of his generation, Foyth was identified as a target last season itself.
Juan Sebastian Veron, the former Chelsea and Manchester United midfielder, and the current Estudiantes president traveled to London in June for talks about a move for the player.
However, Veron tried to up the price for his player by stating that French big spenders Paris Saint-Germain were interested in Foyth’s services. It looked at one time that the Lilywhites might pull out of the deal.
All’s well that ends well as Pochettino continued his interest in the 19-year-old Argentina Under-20 defender and took the pursuit to a logical conclusion. The manager strongly believes that his countryman has all the qualities to succeed at Tottenham.
“He is so good with the ball at his feet. He is so calm and relaxed – I think it’s fantastic,” said Pochettino (quoted by Evening Standard).
It’s true that he is young but he can be very aggressive and strong, too. He has very good legs, a good mentality and he is so mature for his age.”
“We saw him playing at Estudiantes, and started to talk with him and his parents and family to try to convince him to join us. It was a big, big deal. It took three months to arrange because a lot of clubs were interested in him. In the end he decided to join us. It was good for him and good for us, too.”
Foyth has joined the club on a five-year deal and has already revealed that it was a discussion with Pochettino that persuaded him to join the North London club. The Argentine manager himself moved to Europe at a very young age and sees the right attributes in Foyth, for him to make a mark on the bigger stage.
Foyth too was enticed by the idea of training with Pochettino, who has earned a reputation of blooding youngsters at Tottenham. It is reported that the manager has indicated that Foyth would be given match opportunities if he impressed in training.
The youngster is rated very highly in the senior setup and it is rumoured that national coach Jorge Sampaoli is looking to give him a full call-up soon. Working with Pochettino will definitely come to Foyth’s aid in speeding up his education.
Defence is one area where Tottenham are very strong – even making the bench is difficult. But, Foyth has the right skills to make it to the first team very soon.