Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are the three finalists for The Best FIFA Men's Player award.

FIFA announced a 10-man shortlist for the gong in July and, following the initial voting period, the final three have been revealed.

Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt, Harry Kane, Eden Hazard, Sadio Mane, Kylian Mbappe and Mohamed Salah were the seven players cut from the initial list.

Liverpool defender Van Dijk is the favourite of many after playing a vital role in the Reds' Champions League triumph and their Premier League title challenge – finishing just a point behind Manchester City.

He was recognised for his exploits just last week, when he was named UEFA's Player of the Year, beating Messi and Ronaldo to the prize.

The Netherlands international also helped his country to the final of the Nations League, only for a Ronaldo-inspired Portugal to lift the inaugural title.

Ronaldo also enjoyed success at club level, helping Juventus cruise to an eighth successive Scudetto, finishing as their top scorer across all competitions with 28 goals.

Messi's numbers dwarfed Ronaldo's, though, as the Barcelona star scored 51 goals in total, including 36 from 29 starts in LaLiga, with Barca retaining their title.

Those goal-scoring exploits won Messi the European Golden Shoe and, on top of being LaLiga's most prolific player, he also set up 13 goals, a haul only matched by Pablo Sarabia.

Messi's Barca team-mate Marc-Andre ter Stegen is among the three finalists for the goalkeeper award, with City's Ederson and Alisson of Liverpool also in the hunt.

And there is a distinct Premier League feel to the final three of the coaches' award, with Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Mauricio Pochettino all in the running.

The winners will be announced on September 23.

Mauricio Pochettino believes it will be difficult for Christian Eriksen to leave Tottenham before Monday's transfer deadline, though the Spurs boss insisted "nothing is impossible".

Eriksen has been linked with a move away from Tottenham throughout the window as Real Madrid and Juventus reportedly circle the Danish star.

The 27-year-old, who reportedly withstood interest from Manchester United prior to the Premier League window closing, is out of contract at the end of the season.

Eriksen played a starring role in Sunday's 2-2 North London Derby draw at Arsenal but Tottenham manager Pochettino remains unsure about what the future holds.

"No, there are still hours or one day," Pochettino replied when asked if he was 100 per cent confident Eriksen will stay.

"I want to say it is going to be impossible, but it is going to be difficult [for him to leave]. I think nothing is impossible in football.

"But the most important thing is that it is only 24 hours and I hope that everything will be clear for everyone."

Eriksen opened the scoring against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium before Harry Kane's 40th-minute penalty gave Spurs a 2-0 lead approaching the interval.

Arsenal, however, overturned the two-goal deficit through Alexandre Lacazette on the stroke of half-time and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with 19 minutes remaining.

Asked if Tottenham should have won the match at 2-0, Pochettino told reporters: "Yes, that goal that we conceded in the last action of the first half gave the belief to Arsenal.

"Of course it was a big emotional hit for us because from here in one action you were down. For them the same they were down and suddenly their emotion was high and the belief in football is about emotions.

"I thought the team recovered really well after half-time. We created a lot of chances to score the third goal. I thought it was very important for us.

"It's not the table or the points, it's to recover the good feelings after Newcastle and the summer and all that happened in these last four weeks. That is most important. Worse impossible, only we can improve."

Mauricio Pochettino is looking forward to the European transfer window closing as it will allow him and his squad to have clarity regarding Christian Eriksen's future.

Denmark international Eriksen has been strongly linked with other clubs, most notably Real Madrid, having admitted a desire for a new challenge.

Eriksen's contract expires at the end of the season and media reports have suggested he could run his deal down, allowing him to leave on a free transfer.

Pochettino restored Eriksen to the starting XI against Arsenal, after he was benched for Tottenham's last Premier League outing, and he opened the scoring in a 2-2 draw.

With the European transfer window closing on Monday, Spurs look set to keep Eriksen for the time being and Pochettino is eager to draw a line under the recent speculation.

"We have massive quality and from tomorrow [Monday, when the European transfer window closes] we will all be on the same page," Pochettino told Sky Sports.

"With Christian Eriksen we have to wait, but it shows it was the right decision to play him. He showed a great performance and helped the team to get a point here.

"I am optimistic and happy to work with the squad and try to fight for big things for the club.

"What happened in the past happened in the past and you cannot fix it. It is about drawing a strong line for the future. It's important to move on and learn from the past."

Spurs striker Harry Kane heaped praise on the Denmark playmaker and is adamant Eriksen remains committed to the Spurs cause.

"He is a fantastic player," Kane added. "I've been playing with him for five, six years. He is doing the best he can.

"You can see how much the goal meant to him. As a squad we are fighting and sticking together and giving everything we can on the pitch."

Mauricio Pochettino wanted Christian Eriksen's future resolved before Sunday. "Tomorrow, we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not. That's the most important thing," he said the day before.

The fact the midfielder was thrown back into the starting line-up for the north London derby suggests this particular transfer saga has, for now, been paused. This felt like a message to Real Madrid, and any other suitors, that Eriksen will be a Tottenham player after Monday's European transfer deadline.

"We need to wait," he said to Sky Sports after the game against Arsenal. "But that [performance] showed that Christian Eriksen was alright." That was an understatement.

If there have been any doubts about the commitment of Eriksen, who has admitted he wants a new challenge, then they were dispelled emphatically in a breathless 2-2 draw at Emirates Stadium. Eriksen offered everything Pochettino could have asked for.

Would he do enough out of possession, or cruise through the match in a bubble of uncertainty? He ran 12.22 kilometres, more than any other player on the pitch.

Would fitness be a concern after comparatively little football of late? Only two team-mates clocked a higher average speed than his 7.25km per hour in the north London sunshine.

If his head has been turned, would he offer enough of that championed 'grit' that only seems to become a prerequisite for a footballer against a team's bitter rivals? Only David Luiz and Harry Winks made more tackles, and he was booked for bringing down Granit Xhaka for good measure.

Most pertinently of all, would he still have enough quality to bring life to a Spurs attack that were shut out by Newcastle United a week ago? He managed six crosses, two chances created, four shots on target out of four attempted - and one easy tap-in to break the deadlock.

It was not Eriksen's fault Spurs surrendered a commanding 2-0 lead and ended up largely hanging on for a point. It was not he who let Alexandre Lacazette dance through the defence to score, or who failed to track Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's run for the equaliser. When Moussa Sissoko ballooned a shot over the bar at the end of a promising break deep into injury time, Eriksen had out-sprinted everyone else in white to take up a far better position. It wasn't his fault he was ignored.

In many ways, this game epitomised the development of Pochettino's team: from also-rans, to Premier League and European elite, to somewhere oddly in between. As clinical, controlled and committed as they were in the first half, the meek submission to the building Arsenal pressure in the second was much more like Spurs of 2019 than of the past few years.

After all, they are now winless at the Emirates in the league since November 2010, have managed just nine victories from 21 top-flight games in 2019 and haven't beaten anyone away in English football since January.

Pochettino was adamant rumours he could step down after the Arsenal game were complete nonsense, but it's hard to ignore the growing sense of staleness creeping in. More and more, that Champions League final in June has the feeling of a ceiling reached, rather than another step taken on a path to greater heights.

With Eriksen in the team, in this form, with this focus, there could be new life breathed into Spurs. We'll know for certain come Tuesday morning whether he is, for a few more months at least, a Tottenham player. It could have a huge say on their immediate future.

Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang got the goals as Arsenal battled back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 at home to Tottenham in a pulsating north London derby on Sunday.

Arsenal coach Unai Emery was starting Lacazette, Aubameyang and record signing Nicolas Pepe all at once for the first time, and the former pair proved vital in bailing out the Gunners' haplessness at the back.

Christian Eriksen – restored to the starting XI after being benched – fittingly put Spurs in front early on after a rapid breakaway and Harry Kane made it 2-0 from the penalty spot, but Lacazette restored some Arsenal hope when thrashing home just before the interval.

That goal inspired a marked improvement from the Gunners in the second half and, although Kane hit the woodwork, Arsenal levelled through Aubameyang to seal a hard-fought point, meaning Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino remains without an away north London derby win in the Premier League.

Tottenham's early-season rustiness was nowhere to be seen when taking the lead on the break 10 minutes in, as Son Heung-min fed Erik Lamela for a low shot and Eriksen was on hand to tap in when Bernd Leno fumbled.

After having several other chances go begging, Spurs finally made it 2-0 five minutes before half-time – Kane emphatically sweeping home a penalty after Granit Xhaka's rash challenge on Son in the area.

But Lacazette struck in stoppage time, nudging the ball beyond Jan Vertonghen and blasting in to put Arsenal back in the hunt.

Arsenal piled pressure on after the break, with Matteo Guendouzi forcing Hugo Lloris into a fine save before Sead Kolasinac somehow missed from a couple of yards out.

Still Spurs worried them, however, with Kane sending a rasping drive against the post after a clever one-two with Eriksen.

Arsenal deservedly got their equaliser 19 minutes from time, as Aubameyang met Guendouzi's cross and prodded home.

What does it mean? Arsenal their own worst enemy again

Emery's men would have probably been good value for all three points, but they gave themselves a huge uphill task with the Spurs goals, which both came about via errors – Leno's fumble and Xhaka's foul.

Thankfully they have excellent forward capable of bailing them out, but what it is the point of having a fancy facade if you are built on sand?

Bright Son is Spurs' leading light

Spurs looked at their most threatening when playing on the break and Son was vital to that, with his pace, awareness and ability on the ball stretching Arsenal's defence all over the place.

Xhaka predictably rash

If there was one player from this match you could predict doing something particularly daft, it would have been Xhaka. The Swiss midfielder's foul for Kane's penalty was mystifying and entirely unnecessary, yet, because it was him, it was also predictable. When will he learn?

What's next?

After the international break, Arsenal return to action at Watford on September 15. Spurs host Crystal Palace the day before.

Mauricio Pochettino believes Tottenham should be judged differently to other top Premier League clubs because of reduced spending power in the face of a reported £600million stadium debt.

Tottenham borrowed vast sums to finance the construction of their new 62,000-seater home venue, which opened well behind schedule in April.

Three months later, a long transfer standstill ended with the signing of teenage winger Jack Clarke from Leeds United and Spurs negotiated further deals for Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon as their close-season spending reportedly totalled around £100m.

North London rivals Arsenal are believed to have splashed around three quarters of that figure on a single player – club-record signing Nicolas Pepe – and Pochettino highlighted the difference in attitudes ahead of Sunday's derby at Emirates Stadium.

"Arsenal, in the last two years, signed [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, the best striker in Germany, [Alexandre] Lacazette, the best striker in France and, one year after, Pepe," Pochettino said.

"If you see us in five years, we didn't sign one [expensive] striker and now our main striker is Harry Kane but our second specific striker is 17 years old, Troy Parrott.

"That is the difference in the projects. I don't want to say one is wrong and another is good. It's only that the way we operate is completely different and, afterwards, we need to compete.

"Mercedes compete with Ferrari, McLaren, Red Bull [in Formula One]. After, we compete in the same race and, if you judge, the judgments need not only to be on the race but the whole process." 

Tottenham reached last season's Champions League final despite making no new additions in the previous two transfer windows but lost 2-0 to Premier League runners-up Liverpool.

Pochettino raised the Anfield club's squad transformation under Jurgen Klopp as one of a number of examples of how competitors are conducting their business in contrasting fashion.

"Different clubs ask the bank for £600m to invest in the team, like Barcelona or different clubs," he said.

"They create a debt by signing players, putting the debt on the pitch, trying to win.

"We are different. We need to create a legacy for the future. In this period we are suffering the restrictions but it's normal.

"We need to work hard to find a way to compete in this very tough league – in a different way to our rivals."

Christian Eriksen's Tottenham future will be settled one way or another on Saturday, according to manager Mauricio Pochettino.

The influential playmaker has been linked to LaLiga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid after saying in June he was open to a new challenge.

Eriksen, 27, has been at Spurs since 2013 and is out of contract at the end of this season, with the transfer deadline in Europe looming on Monday.

Pochettino insists the wheels must be in motion for any move by Saturday, with Spurs facing Arsenal in the North London Derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"The good thing is if nothing happens on Saturday," he told reporters. "Because Sunday's the game and it’s not going to happen on Monday – there'd be no real time to do something.

"On Saturday we are going to know if Christian is going to be with us or not."

Spurs have made an unconvincing start to the season, losing at home to Newcastle United last weekend on the back of a 2-2 draw at Manchester City and a come-from-behind win over newly promoted Aston Villa.

Eriksen's emergence from the bench prompted the turnaround in the Villa match, while the Denmark international has only started against City as speculation over his future continues to swirl.

"People will say: 'Why are you playing Christian?' The team-mates can say: 'Why are you playing Christian if the rumour is he’s going to leave? Gaffer, why am I not playing when Christian is looking to go away?'" Pochettino added.

"In this situation there are plenty of things that happen inside that I cannot translate to the media and our fans.

"The most important is to trust in our judgment. If people have the information to make this decision, it's us."

Mauricio Pochettino has dismissed rumours he will be resigning from his position at Tottenham after Sunday's north London derby clash with Arsenal.

Champions League runners up Spurs have made an indifferent start to the season, with a home loss to Newcastle United last weekend leaving them with four points after three games.

Tottenham did beat Aston Villa in their opening fixture before grabbing a draw at Manchester City, but their early performances have been far from convincing.

Pochettino's side have the chance to kick their campaign into gear when they travel to Emirates Stadium on Sunday, and the former Southampton boss - who is contracted to Tottenham until 2023 - emphatically rejected reports he will be leaving the club, pinning the blame for such speculation on social media.

"What can I say about stupid rumours?" Pochettino told a news conference. "Only social media can create something that stupid.

"After five years now I start my sixth season. You know how we worked this summer to rebuild and update because from each summer, version 2.0, 3.0 - now we're version 6.0 MP software.

"I will not walk away after Sunday's game. I will be working Monday and Tuesday and then going away for a few days and coming back to meet [chairman] Daniel [Levy] and watch some internationals.

"Do you bet? It’s closed now! You lose your money! I hope that I can extend my life here. Sure it’s good for us and good for the club."

However, Pochettino also indicated any decision over his future is not in his own hands.

"I was with Daniel and [assistant boss] Jesus [Perez], we were at dinner in London [on Thursday]," Pochettino added.

"It was very good. We talked about everything. We needed that conversation, very positive. The most important thing is to help the team on the pitch and make sure the communication is clear.

"In the end, it's in the hands of the players and the results, and the last word will be with Daniel."

Turning attention to Sunday's derby, Pochettino was asked which Arsenal player - past or present - he would like to coach.

"Not to coach, but to play against, Paul Merson. To kick him!" Pochettino joked.

Losses for Arsenal and Tottenham last weekend are set to add extra spice to the always feisty north London derby at Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Gunners were comfortably outdone by a Mohamed Salah-inspired Liverpool in a 3-1 defeat that ended their perfect start to the Premier League season.

Times are even tougher for Tottenham, who slipped up at home to Newcastle United and seem distracted by the transfer speculation surrounding star playmaker Christian Eriksen.

Clarity of purpose can be discovered in matches of this magnitude but a survey of the Opta data sheds light on just how difficult it will be for Spurs to succeed.

 

AWAY GAME NO ESCAPE FOR SPURS

Lucas Moura urged Tottenham to stop dropping "stupid points" at home right before the loss to lowly Newcastle.

Taking a break from the club's shiny new 62,000-seater ground might seem attractive in the wake of last weekend's result but there is scant consolation to be found on the road, even when the journey is only brief.

Spurs are winless in seven Premier League away games, a run not endured since an eight-game streak between December 2011 and April 2012.

Goals from Son Heung-min and Dele Alli did secure an EFL Cup victory at Emirates Stadium last season.

Could it be regarded as something of a wasted win?

Only once before - in 1925 and 1926 - have Tottenham won consecutive matches at Arsenal and it would take a first away league victory for Mauricio Pochettino over Unai Emery at the fifth attempt to break almost 100 years of history.

HEAD TO HEAD: DAVID LUIZ V DAVINSON SANCHEZ

Both sides need to return to form and, individually, so too do David Luiz and Davinson Sanchez.

The former was outfoxed by Salah for each of the Egyptian's two goals at Anfield, while Colombia international Sanchez completely lost Joelinton for Newcastle's winner.

Should he again be selected ahead of Jan Vertonghen, Sanchez will have a big job to do against Arsenal's dangerous, quick forwards and there are clear improvements he must make.

The 23-year-old has won a meagre 55 per cent of his tackles since the start of the last Premier League season, far inferior to the more experienced David Luiz's success rate of 74 per cent.

Opposition players also dribble past the Spurs centre-back with far more regularity - 0.77 times per match - than his fellow South American, who gets beaten an average of 0.24 times every 90 minutes.

David Luiz, winner of 54 per cent of aerial battles, remains some way short of a perfect back-four member and could struggle to deal with Harry Kane if Spurs can sling inviting crosses into the area.

FORM GUIDE

Arsenal headed to Merseyside with a maximum six Premier League points already registered and left with their confidence dented.

Emery's tactical tweaks subdued a slick Liverpool for close to 45 minutes but, once Joel Matip made the breakthrough, the European champions were simply too strong.

Still, after wins against Newcastle and Burnley, it could be worse, as Pochettino can attest.

His team's luck ran out after a fortunate draw at Manchester City as they spluttered to a 1-0 loss at home to Steve Bruce's Magpies, a side that had been reeling from a harrowing defeat on the road to Norwich City. 

Sluggish starts have been an issue: Watford are the only other Premier League team to have conceded the opening goal in all three matches this term.

HISTORY SAYS...

Beware the September specialists!

Sunday heralds the end of August and marks the beginning of a traditionally excellent month for Arsenal.

The Gunners have won more Premier League games (60) and boast a higher win rate (61 per cent) than any other side in September.

Converting penalties is important whichever page the calendar is on and particularly so in the north London derby.

Harry Kane scored one in March, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang did not, and now spot-kicks have been the source of five of the past 14 goals in this fixture.

Mauricio Pochettino has admitted his Tottenham squad are "unsettled" as the future of some key players remains unclear - but all they can do is wait and see what happens in the coming days.

Spurs have collected just four points from their opening three Premier League games, suffering a shock 1-0 loss at home to Newcastle United on Sunday.

Star midfielder Christian Eriksen's future at the club remains uncertain with the transfer window elsewhere in Europe open until September 2, while Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld are out of contract at the end of the season.

Pochettino said he was dealing with an unsettled squad at Tottenham, who face a huge trip to Arsenal on Sunday for the north London derby.

"The group is still unsettled and we need to find solutions," he told a news conference.

"We have one week more to wait and see what happens in the last 10 days. Of course I think that this is my sixth season and we have started the season as a more unsettled group that we are working with and that is why we must relax.

"We cannot fix some situations. There is nothing to say about that situation that is going on in the squad. Still we need to wait.

"That is a circumstance after playing in the Champions League on June 1, we knew that this was going to happen, some situations like this.

"But for the club and for us it is difficult to handle. We can only wait is all we can do."

Christian Eriksen remains focused on his job even as transfer rumours persist, according to Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Denmark international Eriksen continues to be linked with a move amid rumoured interest from clubs including Juventus and Real Madrid.

The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and was only a substitute for the opening-weekend win over Aston Villa, before returning to the starting XI in the 2-2 draw at Manchester City.

Pochettino admits the uncertainty is far from ideal but insists Eriksen can still perform while his future is in limbo.

"I always tell the player to not be affected by the rumours," the Spurs boss said.

"In this situation, there is nothing to say, because still we have one more year on his contract. It's not the best situation for him, for everyone.

"He's acting naturally. You cannot put a finger on the problem. You need to try to help.

"I understand the club, I understand the player. You try to minimise the problem, try to treat the situation.

"This is an important player who needs to help the team with his performances to get positive results."

In June, midfielder Eriksen publicly confirmed his appetite to "try something new" after six seasons at Spurs.

"Christian has a personality and a character that... he's involved, and he's not affected by the rumours or situation surrounding him," Pochettino said.

Tottenham face Newcastle United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Mauricio Pochettino insists his Tottenham team selections cannot be considered "experiments" as he prepares to take on Newcastle United.

Spurs stole a 2-2 draw at Premier League champions Manchester City last weekend and face rivals Arsenal a week on Sunday, with struggling Newcastle visitors to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in between.

It was put to Pochettino that he might look to name a different XI against Newcastle in order to keep players fresh for the derby match, but he took issue with the word "experiment".

"Experiment? I'm not a scientist. I am not a chemist," he told a news conference. "You are talking about experimenting.

"That is in some room outside of this training room. We are coaches and we do our job, we don't experiment. We train people who have the ability to play football. Then that's it.

"Please don't compare us with doctors or people in university studying a lot. I have a lot of respect for the people who do what you say, experiment, to help life.

"But for us to find solutions, only I am a football coach, far away from the people who work in science or at university. I have full respect for them."

Discussing more openly the need to beat Newcastle, Pochettino still would not acknowledge there is pressure on Tottenham to win against a side in the bottom three.

"I think if we're going to talk about the extra pressure, it's a little bit early," he said. "We didn't feel the pressure of the Champions League final so, after our second game, we're not going to.

"Speculation is there, perception is there, I think we are going to try to play the game and try to win. Football is football and you have to respect your opponent. Newcastle are going to be a tough opponent.

"It's going to be a very difficult opponent. They need to start to win points, they'll be tough. They have a new manager, new signings. All that is going to make them more focused and try to be compact.

"For us, after a good result at City, our trust and confidence is high and at the same point believing Newcastle will be tough. We have to beat them."

Mauricio Pochettino says Son Heung-min will be ready to take on Newcastle United after serving a Premier League suspension, but warned fans not to expect too much too soon from Giovani Lo Celso.

Son missed Spurs' first two games of the new season due to a ban after he was sent off against Bournemouth at the end of last term, while Lo Celso made his debut in a short cameo at Manchester City last weekend.

The South Korea star hit 12 league goals in 2018-19, a campaign disrupted by the Asian Games, where he led his country to glory and avoided being called up for military service as a result, and their subsequent run to the Asian Cup quarter-finals.

Son's availability to face Newcastle on Sunday comes with Tanguy Ndombele ruled out by a thigh injury, while England midfielder Dele Alli has returned to training after a hamstring problem.

"Unlucky for him that [the ban] was over the holiday," Pochettino told a news conference. "I think he was training really, really hard to keep fit and improve in different areas. We are happy in the last few weeks he was unbelievable in the way he was available to train and compete in every single training session and I hope it's going to help the team from now.

"I think it was a good opportunity for him to build his fitness and have a proper pre-season which sometimes when you're involved in competition is difficult. For him, looking at last season which was really, really complicated for him and difficult and we used that situation and trying to be positive and helping him to get really fit to help him and the team.

"Because the pre-season is so important for every player, but sometimes the priority is holidays and this type of situation with him it was so clear that he was going to be suspended for two games and the plan was to provide him with good quality training to improve in different areas - and when the moment he is available to play to be in the perfect condition."

Lo Celso, who joined Spurs on loan from Real Betis with a view to a permanent deal, played five minutes from the bench in Saturday's 2-2 draw against champions City.

"I think Lo Celso is a situation that is not going to be easy," Pochettino said of the versatile Argentina midfielder. "He was in extended holidays after the Copa America, he didn't have a proper pre-season and didn't train too much.

"Then signed for us after a week without training. He's training well but is still so far away from what we expect from him. We need to give him time. He was involved [on Saturday] and will maybe have the possibility to help the team in some points, but we won't expect too much from him.

"We need to not put the responsibility on him, only to improve and adapt himself with us and see. It's a natural process to learn and improve. In the moment he will be fit and deserves to play then sure he will have the chance like other players."

Mauricio Pochettino suggested Tottenham have to shape their squad in a different way to their rivals in order to compete at the top of the Premier League.

Spurs had gone 18 months without making a signing before bringing in Leeds United teenager Jack Clarke and immediately sending the winger back on loan to Elland Road in July.

Clarke was indicative of the of business Spurs conducted in the window, with the arrivals of Tanguy Ndombele, Giovani Lo Celso and Ryan Sessegnon amassing plenty of experience yet still burgeoning talents that Pochettino will look to hone in the coming years.

Pochettino, who has guided Tottenham to four consecutive top-four finishes, says the development of young talent remains Spurs' best chance of continued success.

"We sign players who are young and have the potential. Tanguy Ndombele only played two seasons at Lyon, didn't win anything and we brought him here to try to make him a top player," he said.

"Giovani Lo Celso on loan from Real Betis is similar. Ryan Sessegnon is more of a potential player and, of course, we signed Jack Clarke.

"When you compare with the different teams who are in the same race as us it's a completely different way. People understand we are playing to try to win but we have different resources to fight in the same race with teams that operate in a different way.

"I don't like to complain but when Kyle Walker was at Tottenham and we sold him to City for £55million two years ago, Kyle Walker-Peters was a kid. 

"Now we've sold Kieran Trippier and Kyle Walker-Peters [now 22] is playing. 

"Maybe he was the fourth or fifth option when Kyle Walker was here so it's important people realise we're building players and that they're still young.

"He needed to compete against Raheem Sterling [in Tottenham's 2-2 draw at Manchester City on Saturday] and the best team. 

"So, it's a process that is completely different when you compare it to Manchester City, to Manchester United or Arsenal, Chelsea, teams like this.

"They are preparing themselves to win. For us the priority was to build the new stadium and, of course, to win because we want to win but the way we operate is completely different. Some people struggle to understand what the project is at Tottenham."

Aymeric Laporte and several of his Manchester City team-mates have expressed frustration over Gabriel Jesus seeing a late strike against Tottenham disallowed by VAR.

City and Spurs were drawing 2-2 at Etihad Stadium on Saturday when Jesus struck in added time, firing into the bottom-right corner from inside the box.

But celebrations were cut short by VAR with replays showing the ball hit Laporte on the arm during the build-up - and the goal was duly disallowed.

A frustrated Pep Guardiola told Sky Sports "they need to fix" VAR, City having seen video replay decisions go against them in a game with Spurs for the second time this year following April's Champions League drama, when Raheem Sterling had a goal disallowed for offside.

And Guardiola's players steadily followed suit on social media following the game, led by Laporte.

"Tough game! Learning to get used to external factors! Keep working!" the centre-back posted on Twitter.

Jesus was visibly upset by the call, despite referee Michael Oliver attempting to calm him down on the field.

"Great game, lads. Well played, but unfortunately we didn’t get the win," the Brazil striker said. "We scored the goal we needed, but....."

Kyle Walker was at fault for the second Spurs goal, losing Lucas Moura in the City box, but he also pointed a finger of blame at the technology.

"Vary frustrating today. But both teams fought well," he said on Twitter, with a deliberate typo. "Well done to Spurs. Always good to see the boys and fans."

Ilkay Gundogan, meanwhile, agrees with Guardiola's suggestion that rules involving VAR need to be amended for the good of the game.

"Today's VAR decision is really hard to take," the midfielder wrote on social media.

"Any attacker that commits handball, intentional or not, is now ruled a free-kick?? And if you’re defending it’s fine?? It only disadvantages the attacking team.

"In my opinion, this rule needs to be changed."

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