EPL

Tottenham players are a gift - Mourinho insists he does not need signings

By Sports Desk November 21, 2019

Jose Mourinho insists he is completely happy with his Tottenham squad and does not feel the need to delve into the transfer market.

Mourinho signed a three-and-a-half-year contract as Spurs' new head coach on Wednesday as last season's Champions League finalists moved quickly following the shock sacking of Mauricio Pochettino.

Intrigue over how Mourinho's relationship with Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy might play out has dominated the initial analysis of the appointment.

Throughout his decorated career, the former Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester United boss has frequently clashed with his boards over transfer policy.

Levy has a reputation for dealing cautiously in the market and, although Spurs broke their transfer record to bring in Tanguy Ndombele during the close season, they went through the two windows in 2018-19 without making a single first-team addition.

Nevertheless, Mourinho was keen to focus on what he judges to be a fine inheritance at his first news conference in charge of Spurs – noting he was previously linked to a number of his new squad.

"The best gift are the players who are here. I don’t need new players. I just need to get to know these ones better," he said.

"I know them well but you never know them well enough until you meet them.

"I told the players I came here because of them. I tried to buy some for different clubs and some I didn't even try [to buy] because you know how difficult it was."

Spurs head into Saturday's Premier League game at West Ham, where Mourinho will renew acquaintances with old adversary Manuel Pellegrini, languishing in 14th in the Premier League.

Reports of growing unrest within the squad dominated Pochettino's final weeks in charge, while uncertainty over the future of a number of star names is underlined by Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen all being out of contract at the end of this season.

Nevertheless, Mourinho has no doubt he is in the right place to revive a celebrated career after his sapping tenure at Manchester United.

"Happiness-wise, I am convinced my choice was a great one. [On a scale of one to 10], 10," he said.

"When a club changes mid-season, it is because things are not good. Sometimes results make these decisions. I wouldn't say it's a [big] job. The potential of the club is huge, the potential of the players is great.

"One of the reasons I came was the vision Mr Levy put in front of me about this club. I know that I have potentially a great job in my hands."

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    Chelsea can press on with their January plans after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) halved their transfer ban on Friday.

    The Blues were barred by FIFA from registering new players for two successive windows in February, having been found guilty of breaching rules relating to the international transfer and registration of players under the age of 18.

    However, CAS has reduced that ban to one window, which the Blues have already served, giving Frank Lampard the green light to make fresh acquisitions next month.

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    BEN CHILWELL

    Left-back would seem the obvious place to start for Lampard.

    Club captain Cesar Azpilicueta and Emerson Palmieri have been deployed there this season, but the latter has been linked with a move to Juventus.

    With Marcos Alonso out of favour and Azpilicueta now 30, Chelsea might want a younger option in line with the parts of their first team now thriving.

    Leicester City's Chilwell, 22, fits the bill, although he would not come cheap. Valencia's Jose Gaya is another mooted target who would likely command a smaller fee.

    JADON SANCHO

    Willian and Pedro are both out of contract at the end of the season and they appear destined to depart.

    Teenager Callum Hudson-Odoi will be expected to have a bigger role and Christian Pulisic has impressed in recent weeks, but Lampard would welcome more attacking firepower.

    Borussia Dortmund winger Sancho's time in Germany seems close to ending and the Londoner might relish a return to the capital.

    However, if Sancho is to depart over the next two windows, Chelsea will be in a long line of interested suitors.

    WILFRIED ZAHA

    A move away from Crystal Palace failed to materialise in the close-season window for Zaha.

    The former Manchester United winger is undoubtedly talented and proven in the Premier League.

    However, Zaha's situation is complicated by the fact he signed a five-year contract in 2018.

    Arsenal and Everton were reportedly keen a few months before the demises of Unai Emery and Marco Silva, but Chelsea represent a more attractive option.

    NATHAN AKE

    Fikayo Tomori and Kurt Zouma have been Lampard's preferred central-defensive partners, though the Blues have kept just three Premier League clean sheets in 2019-20.

    Germany international Antonio Rudiger is due back soon but it is a former Blues defender who may be of interest in January.

    It is believed Chelsea included a £40million buy-back clause in Ake's deal when he was sold to Bournemouth in 2017.

    As was the case with Nemanja Matic, Ake has developed considerably during his time away from Stamford Bridge and could prove a relative bargain at his buy-back price.

    MOUSSA DEMBELE

    With 11 goals in 14 Premier League games, Tammy Abraham has shown he is capable of leading the line.

    However, there are limited options behind him and they will be depleted further if Olivier Giroud, 33, leaves as expected.

    Lyon striker Dembele, once of Fulham and Celtic, is thought to be of interest to the Blues.

    The joint-top scorer in Ligue 1, Dembele is having a fine season. But would he be happy playing second fiddle to Abraham?

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  • Guardiola urges Jesus to be Manchester derby hero Guardiola urges Jesus to be Manchester derby hero

    Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has urged striker Gabriel Jesus to have the belief he can be a derby day hero on Saturday.

    With Sergio Aguero still absent due to a thigh injury, much of City's goalscoring burden in their clash with Manchester United will fall upon the shoulders of the Brazil international.

    Jesus ended a 10-game goal drought for club and country with a brace in City's 4-1 win over Burnley on Tuesday, which has boosted his confidence.

    The 22-year-old has failed to find the net in his four appearances in the Manchester derby – three of which have come from the bench - but Guardiola has confidence in the forward's ability.

    "He has to be himself – we need his goals. That’s why we won the last game,” the City boss said at his news conference ahead of the clash with United.

    “We need him and his goals, if he puts this idea in his head he can do it every game.

    "Confidence has to be there in the heads, not because of good or bad performances, winning or losing games. Not just him, all the players."

    Guardiola claimed the mental strength of his squad is still strong even though they find themselves 11 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool.

    "There are some things that are undeniable, the mentality and how strong they are," he said.

    "We have to learn, with all athletes, he would not be in the high level [he is] and playing if he didn't have quality.

    "They can control it, they don't need the manager to speak to them, they have to believe they are good enough and show how good they are.

    "All the time it's there, if they score goals the confidence rises, if a keeper doesn't concede goals the confidence rises."

    City are 11 points of ahead of sixth-placed United, who beat former manager Jose Mourinho's Tottenham side at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

    Guardiola believes counterpart Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing a "good job" at United and will have them side fired up for the Etihad Stadium showdown.

    "The history is huge and the quality of players they have has always been there and we have to try to beat them," he added.

    "They are incredibly fast up front and at set pieces with Harry Maguire, they have the physicality and aggression. I have a good impression.

    "It's an important game against a good rival with a big history. We play against a good team to try to follow the performance from the last game.

    "It's Man United, all respect to what they have done for English, European and world football."

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