Pochettino fires starting gun on Spurs clear-out
Published 10/08/2014 | 02:30
A PRE-SEASON purge was under way at Tottenham Hotspur last night after Mauricio Pochettino declared he had inherited "too many players".
The manager revealed he wanted a squad of "no more than 25" going into his first campaign in charge, five fewer than are currently listed as first-teamers on Spurs' official website.
Some of those are academy graduates, but Pochettino also plans to make further signings before the transfer window closes, necessitating a cull of those players surplus to requirements.
The Argentine has already failed to offload captain Michael Dawson and misfit midfielder Nacer Chadli, something he may retry, while the likes of Younes Kaboul, Kyle Naughton, Benoit Assou-Ekotto, Paulinho, Sandro, Etienne Capoue and Mousa Dembele could also find themselves facing the axe.
"We have a long, long squad," Pochettino said. "I think we need to take a decision now to decide how many players to keep, because we have more than 25 - for me, too many players. My ideal is 25. No more than 25."We need to decide now, after our tour in America, and start to work here and decide our squad for the future."
Dawson had appeared close to joining Hull City last month, but the move has yet to materialise amid suggestions he may not want to forego the benefits of a testimonial for 10 years' service next summer.
Chadli, meanwhile, has been identified as a potential makeweight should Pochettino succeed in signing Morgan Schneiderlin from former club Southampton or Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven.
Spurs' pursuit of the United States World Cup star DeAndre Yedlin could threaten Naughton's place in the squad, which has already seen the arrival of Ben Davies, Eric Dier and Michel Vorm.
There will be no repeat of last season's £100m spending spree, which followed Gareth Bale's departure, but Pochettino said he was confident of building a squad that could compete on all fronts. That includes the Europa League, which he vowed to take seriously.
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