By 90Min
November 18, 2017

Mauricio Pochettino recently called up eight Under-16s academy players to train with the first team squad ahead of the North London Derby.

The Sun reported that although the academy youngsters were not in contention to start, Pochettino was keen to give them the experience of playing with the world's best footballers.

The Argentine said: "There were eight 16-year-olds training with the first-team on Wednesday. They are not close to first team but it is a fantastic experience for them."


The Spurs manager acknowledged that it may seem a strange decision but stated that it is not so different from what he was doing at Southampton. "Five years ago when we arrived, 17 or 18-year-olds were kids and training with the first team was crazy. Now, eight 16-year-olds training with the first team. That is fantastic."

According to ESPN, speaking ahead of the North London Derby, Pochettino also said that comparisons to Arsene Wenger were "massive praise for me".

He said: "To stay in a club for five years, it is because you are a good manager, 10 years it is because you must be very good. For more than 20 years, it is because you are special. I admire him a lot, he is a very special manager." 

Pochettino added that he wants to emulate Wenger saying: "what he is doing at Arsenal and as a manager, I would like to be like him one day: 20 years at Tottenham!"

When asked about if his teams would always have an English core the 45-year-old replied: "Yes. That is why we are working this way. We believe in English talent.

"The under-17s, U19s and U21s make me believe even more in English talent. It's important to see. Of course, we can build a very good core of English players with our identity, coming through our academy English players coming from different clubs. It's an exciting challenge for us and exciting philosophy for us to build."

But Pochettino also insisted that this process requires patience "We have the talent, we need time to be focused and help them achieve the level we want. When you see the academy, we have a lot of talent -- we need time and patience to help them achieve."

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