Mauricio Pochettino 'calm' despite Tottenham's lack of transfer activity

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Pochettino has a mixed record against United.

Mauricio Pochettino says he is “so calm and so quiet” about a lack of transfer activity over the summer because of his belief in Tottenham’s young squad.

Spurs, who finished second in the Premier League last season, have sold defender Kyle Walker to Manchester City in a £45million deal, but not yet brought in any fresh talent.

Champions Chelsea, meanwhile, have been busy spending big to bring in the likes of Tiemoue Bakayoko and Antonio Rudiger and are closing in on £60million transfer of Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata.

Manchester United have bought £75million forward Romelu Lukaku from Everton, while north London rivals Arsenal, who finished fifth last season, broke their own club record to land French striker Alexandre Lacazette.

Pochettino, however, feels Tottenham fans should rest easy and keep faith in the current group, although he accepts next season will be tough.

In an interview with ESPN FC, he said: “The last two seasons, we improved a lot. It is very clear, our philosophy is about trying to play exciting football with young players and trying to be different to the top sides. I think next season is a big, big challenge for us.”

“For one, it’s because we moved to Wembley, a different environment for us, a different pitch and stadium, all will be different for us. It is true that we must change because we were very comfortable playing at White Hart Lane (which is being redeveloped).”

“And then, I think because the big sides are investing a lot of money in trying to improve their squads, but for us we are so calm and so quiet because we have belief in our youth from our academy.”

“We may lack a few players, but we are so calm because I think we have a very good team and the most important thing for us always is the team.”

Spurs are currently on a tour of the United States as part of the International Champions Cup series, which will see matches against Paris St Germain, Roma and also Manchester City ahead of a friendly against Juventus at Wembley on August 5.

Pochettino feels the club are moving in the right direction, with the development of a new 61,000-seater home as part of the Northumberland Park regeneration project coming on the back of moving to a state-of-the-art training base in Enfield which is now also used by the England squad.

“Always the philosophy is coming from the board and in the case of (chairman) Daniel Levy, I think we have a very good relationship, we have a clear idea of what we need to do in the future,” the Argentinian coach said.

“I think our facilities are amazing, the training ground and the new stadium will be one of the best in Europe. It is an exciting moment for Tottenham.”

“But it is true we have a different philosophy, it is not because we cannot invest, but Tottenham have built a different philosophy than the other big clubs.”

“I think in football, money can help you build a better squad or bring in talented players, but it is not only about money – you need to be creative, you need to be clever.”

“It will be tough next season for us, but we believe in the way that we play and we work.”

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Liverpool sign Andy Robertson from Hull City for £8 million

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Andy Robertson

Liverpool have completed the signing of Scotland left-back Andy Robertson from Hull.

Robertson spent three seasons with the Tigers following his arrival from Dundee United, and joins the Reds on a long-term contract.

The fee is undisclosed but is thought to be worth around £8million to the Sky Bet Championship club.

Robertson, who will wear the number 26 at Anfield, has won 15 caps for his country and scored his only international goal in a 3-1 friendly defeat by Roy Hodgson’s England in 2014.

He joins Mohamed Salah and Dominic Solanke as summer additions to Jurgen Klopp’s squad. Left-back has long been an area of concern for the Reds and former England midfielder James Milner spent much of the season in the position after Alberto Moreno failed to convince.

Burnley made the early running for Robertson after Hull’s relegation from the Premier League but no deal was forthcoming, opening the door for Klopp.

The 23-year-old told Liverpoolfc.com: “It feels a wee bit surreal just now. Obviously I’m delighted. There’s been a lot of speculation over the last couple of weeks but I’m glad that the deal’s finally been done and I’m a Liverpool player.

“My family are proud of what I’ve achieved so far and they’re all over the moon with the move, as well as me of course. We’re all just looking forward to being part of the Liverpool family now.

“There’s not many, if any, more special clubs than Liverpool. When you grow up as a kid you dream of playing with big clubs such as Liverpool and to make that a reality is a dream come true for me.

“I just want to prove to people that I can do it at this level, and hopefully I manage to do that this season and go on to do good things for this club.”

Announcing his departure, Hull said: “The 23-year-old full-back left the Tigers’ Portuguese training camp earlier this week to undergo a medical and finalise terms with the Merseyside club.

“Robertson arrived at the KCOM Stadium from Dundee United in July 2014 and went on to make 116 appearances for the club in all competitions, scoring five goals.

“Everybody at the club would like to thank Andy for his efforts in a black and amber shirt, and wish him well for the future.”

Midfielder Kevin Stewart has moved in the opposite direction on a three-year deal.

The former Tottenham player made 20 appearances for Liverpool, including 11 in the Premier League, and has played for Crewe, Cheltenham, Burton and Swindon on loan.

Having flown to Portugal for his medical, Stewart could make his first Hull appearance in Saturday’s friendly against Benfica.

Stewart told www.hullcitytigers.com : “I’m delighted to sign for the club, I can’t wait to get started and get my boots on.

“It’s an exciting move for me and I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Provided by AFP

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Chelsea boss Antonio Conte praises Alvaro Morata, says striker will be "first choice" in Premier League

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Alvaro Morata

Chelsea manager Antonio Conte marvelled Friday at the “crazy” transfer fees demanded for players, though he praised 80-million-euro ($92.2-million) newcomer Alvaro Morata as a young but experienced striker with a bright future.

The Italian coach said Morata, 24, will be a “first choice” player for his squad in the upcoming Premier League season, a day after Real Madrid and Chelsea announced his transfer.

Conte hailed Morata’s experience playing with the Spanish giants and previously with Juventus in the Champions League.

“He’s a good striker. He’s a player with the right prospect for Chelsea. He’s very young and for sure he can improve a lot,” he told a press conference on the eve of a pre-season game against Arsenal in Beijing.

Chelsea had long been linked to a move for Everton striker Romelu Lukaku but it signed Morata after the Belgian international joined Manchester United instead for a reported 85 million euros.

Asked whether the price paid for Morata was fair after he had previously warned about the spending power of Chinese clubs, Conte acknowledged that “for sure this transfer market is crazy”.

Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte

“I think if you want to buy a simple player, okay, a normal player, you have to start to think to spend 40-50 million euros, and I think this is incredible,” he said.

Sky Sports reported earlier that Morata passed his Chelsea medical and was expected to fly to Singapore to link up with his new team-mates following their tour in China.

Arsenal had a tough week with several players hit by food poisoning in Shanghai, where they played under searing heat against Bayern Munich on Wednesday. The London team won 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw.

Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger said 21 players were fit for Saturday’s game, but he voiced doubts that Theo Walcott could play.

“I don’t think he will be ready for tomorrow but it’s nothing major,” he said.

While it is a pre-season game, Wenger promised a competitive match against Arsenal’s London rivals at the Bird’s Nest in Beijing.

“It’s not really a friendly” because of the historic rivalry, he said. “There’s always some pride at stake.”

Arsenal defeated Chelsea to win the FA Cup in May, while the Blues won the Premier League title.

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