What Tottenham beating Aston Villa tells us about Mauricio Pochettino’s transfer business


ON PAPER, Tottenham may have got their Premier League campaign off to a flier, but those watching against Aston Villa know it wasn’t a walk in the park.

Spurs do not panic anymore when chasing a goal, a sign of how much the side has matured under the guidance of Mauricio Pochettino.

Aston Villa kept them at bay for the first hour and looked well worth a point until the ruthless streak of Harry Kane took over.

Tottenham have missed an engine in midfield who is comfortable on the ball and can open things up.

That’s why Moussa Sissoko has proved such a hit since last season, but now Spurs fans are growing to love Tanguy Ndombele because he is all of their midfielders moulded into one.

His goal was just a glimpse of what’s to come on the side of his quality on the ball, driving the team on in tight areas when there’s not much space.

That’s why this feels like a game-changing acquisition for Tottenham and it was also why Manchester United, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain were all interested in him.

For £55million, he is already beginning to make that fee look like a steal.

But from watching the game, Pochettino will also be grateful for the other two signings Daniel Levy has made.

Christian Eriksen’s entrance changed the game, and his range of passing and creative spark helped finally unlock the Aston Villa defence.

Giovani Lo Celso can do that too and thrives in the space on the edge of the box. He has vision and a devastating left foot which needs no invitation to shoot from range.

Other Premier League clubs will be looking at Dean Smith’s game plan and realising they can frustrate Tottenham by packing men behind the ball and counter-attacking with pace.

Lo Celso is the exact kind of player needed to breakthrough when the bus is parked.

Danny Rose was off the pace too against Aston Villa, which is understandable given that he was told to find a new club at the start of the season, and left behind for the pre-season tour of Asia.

He also nearly landed a deadline day move to Watford two days ago, his effort can’t be faulted but there’s a feeling his time at Spurs has run its cause.

Watching from the stands was Ryan Sessegnon, who finally sealed a £25m switch from Fulham on Thursday.

Again, when Spurs are working the ball from side-to-side trying to break teams down, Sessegnon is the perfect outlet.

Having played as a winger for most of his career, he will not need a second invitation to go on marauding runs forward and help the attack.

Pochettino will be delighted with Ndombele’s showing and looking forward to having all three players available and ready to prove their worth.


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