‘Keeping players and keeping the boss happy – why Spurs face a crucial couple of weeks’

Match of the Day

I agree with Mauricio Pochettino when he says it is fine that Tottenham did not sign anyone this summer – but what does concern me is who could still leave, and how Spurs can keep their manager happy.

Pochettino was right to point to the positives of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min recently signing new long-term deals, and with Christian Eriksen and Dele Alli both in talks over new contracts it looks like two more big names will be sticking around as well.

But Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele are still being mentioned as available to move elsewhere in Europe this month.

I backed Spurs to finish third in the Premier League this season before the transfer window for incoming players shut last Thursday, and it did surprise me that they did not bring anyone at all in.

I am not going to change my mind about my prediction because Tottenham’s first XI is so strong and also because they have a manager who knows them inside out.

But losing any more than one of Alderweireld, Rose and Dembele would be a massive blow for Spurs, because it would seriously affect the depth of their squad.

Toby Alderweireld, Danny Rose and Mousa Dembele<!–

Toby Alderweireld (left), 29, and Mousa Dembele (right), 31, are both in the final year of their Tottenham contracts. Danny Rose (centre), 28, has a deal that lasts until 2021.

‘Spurs not strong enough to just let trio walk out of the door’

There seems to be a bit of a pattern emerging at Spurs where players get to a certain level and age and start to think about their future.

You do that as a footballer when you are in your late 20s and start thinking ‘well maybe I’ve only got one more big contract left in me’, and if Tottenham are not going to give it to them, they are going to look elsewhere.

Pochettino is the type of manager who tells his players that if they don’t want to be here, he is not going to stand in their way.

But I don’t think this Tottenham squad is strong enough to allow those three just to walk out of the door having not brought in anyone else.

No matter what your situation is as a player, the minute the window closes and you are at a club, then you want to play – and play well.

So, whether they want to leave or not, having them around will be better than relying on unproven players like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Juan Foyth or Luke Amos.

No Mahrez, but will we see more of Moura?

Man City forward Riyad Mahrez<!–

Mahrez, who starred for Leicester when they won the Premier League in 2016, joined Manchester City from the Foxes for £60m in July

I know Tottenham fans were craving the arrival of a massive name over the summer to provide that big moment and some excitement.

Personally I wanted someone who could go past his man and in the past I have hoped Spurs would go and get Riyad Mahrez from Leicester because he has the ability to do that and open up defences.

Tottenham were a little bit too ‘pass-pass-pass-pass’ at times last season and it makes life easier if you have got an alternative – all the other big clubs have got at least one, and Son is the only Spurs player who will take a player on.

It seemed like they were definitely in the market for someone else like that, because they were linked with Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha, and so on.

They didn’t get any of them, but I have to say I was not overly excited by the names that were mentioned anyway.

Talk of bringing Gareth Bale back from Real Madrid was totally unrealistic and the other names mentioned were not going to turn the club upside down and drive them forward.

And you have to remember Spurs brought in Lucas Moura from Paris St-Germain for £23m in January.

Moura was not used as much as I thought he would be last season, but he has had a very good pre-season and started Saturday’s win over Newcastle. He will be like a brand new signing, and I am expecting to see a lot more of him.

Are Spurs moving at the wrong time for Pochettino?

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Tottenham Hotspur are due to move into their new stadium in September 2018

Some people might look at Spurs and think they are just treading water anyway, but you have to take into account the cost of their new ground, which has been delayed but will hopefully be ready by the end of October.

I think Pochettino is reasonably content about the situation too, but I bet there is an element of frustration for him at the same time.

As positive as the new ground is for the club, you could argue it is happening at the wrong time for him.

He is looked upon as one of Europe’s best coaches but the move is not helping him with what he is trying to achieve at Spurs.

Yes, there will be the glitz and the glamour of a new stadium – eventually – and it will all look great, but it is the team that has got them to this position, with consecutive top-three finishes and Champions League football and if the club does not back Pochettino, that will inevitably tail off.

From my understanding, however, that is not the reason Spurs did not sign anyone this summer.

Yes, Spurs had to stay within certain boundaries, but Pochettino was given the finances to go and get what he needed – it was just that Spurs were not able to get those deals over the line, and there was not much point in them going for their second or third choices.

Spurs players love Pochettino for his personal touch

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Tottenham will be competitive – Pochettino

There is a big difference in how Jose Mourinho reacted so unhappily to the way Manchester United’s transfer window went, and Pochettino’s very upbeat behaviour in public in the past few days.

Pochettino’s attitude has rubbed off on his squad too, which is another huge positive about Spurs’ current position.

When I speak to the Spurs players about him, I don’t hear anything but good things. They love everything about him, including his personal touch.

Even when some of them were away at the World Cup, they had a genuine feeling he wanted them to do well. Whether they were with England or Belgium or whoever, he stayed in touch, not just by sending them messages but also asking them how things were.

They appreciate that sort of treatment, obviously, and they respond to it. It means there is a very good feeling around the club right now.

Yes, Pochettino demands a lot and is very intense but the players accept it because they look at themselves and can see they have improved.

Foundations in place, even if Pochettino leaves

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Pochettino ‘happy and excited’ at Tottenham, despite Real Madrid link

It is great that Spurs signed Pochettino up to a new deal at the end of last season, but I do think they need to start making him happy in terms of his personal ambitions.

I do not see him turning his back on the club any time soon because he has put so much in to it, but if there is any worry for Tottenham fans about his future, it is with what is going on with Mourinho at United.

If Mourinho leaves Old Trafford, then I can see United coming knocking for Pochettino because it feels like he has been on their radar for a long time, and I can understand why he would be seen as the right man for the job.

But even if the worst happened and they lost their manager, I don’t think we would see a complete capitulation at Spurs.

We are talking about a club that has gone from strength to strength under chairman Daniel Levy in the past few years, with an unbelievable stadium and with some brilliant players who are still developing.

Whatever happens next, the kind of foundations are in place that Spurs have never had before.

Jermaine Jenas was speaking to BBC Sport’s Chris Bevan.

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