TOTTENHAM boss Mauricio Pochettino has held private conversations with several key players who are approaching the end of their contracts to give assurances he will still pick them.
The Argentine is entering a new era as Spurs boss, keen to start a fresh chapter following the opening of their stadium and reaching the Champions League final.
That was backed up with a bold transfer window in which Tottenham strengthened with the additions of Giovani Lo Celso, Ryan Sessegnon and Tanguy Ndombele.
Jan Vertonghen is one of several key figures who have entered the final year of their contract.
The Belgian was left out of the squad for their Premier League opener with Aston Villa.
Mauricio Pochettino was reportedly unhappy with the star’s fitness prior to the clash.
Now amid worries that the decision was down to Vertonghen’s contract situation, the Evening Standard say that Pochettino has explained to his players he will adopt a fresh approach to his team selection in the coming weeks.
The report states that the former Southampton boss will not choose his team based on contract situations – but only for the rest of the month.
The end of the European transfer window on September 2 could then result in another change of tact from Pochettino.
That is good news for Christian Eriksen, who was left on the bench for the 3-1 triumph last Saturday evening.
Like Vertonghen and Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld has just one year left on his deal and stayed put for another summer as there were no clubs willing to pay his release clause.
Meanwhile Danny Rose has two years remaining, and was transfer listed before the start of window.
He was left behind for Tottenham’s pre-season tour of Singapore and China while being told he was free to find a new club.
Watford failed with a deadline day move and just two days later Rose was in the line up to face Villa.
Club legend Ledley King believes Pochettino should not solely be judged on his trophy count at Tottenham.
“No, it is important just to improve,” he said when asked whether Spurs need to win a trophy this season.
“We all want to win trophies, every team wants to win trophies, but it is not a given. It is very difficult and no-one has a given right to win anything.
“The team will be trying to compete on all fronts to win anything, but I don’t think you can judge the season on not winning a trophy.
“We will be able to look at the season as a whole and see what we have done. Last season was great for the club but we didn’t win a trophy, so I don’t think it can be judged like that.”