By 90Min
August 19, 2019

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has blasted the early closure of the Premier League summer transfer window, labelling it a ‘massive mistake’.

Falling the day before the start of the season, the early 8 August deadline prevents Premier League clubs from bringing in new players. However, it doesn’t stop clubs in other countries from chasing players at English sides, with the deadline for most of Europe on 2 September.

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Christian Eriksen, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen are three key Spurs players who have entered the final year of their current contracts. Should any of the trio now leave, Pochettino’s squad would be left shorthanded until at least January.

“I wasn’t in agreement [with the early deadline] but at that moment they believed that was best for the clubs,” Pochettino is quoted as saying by the Telegraph.

“A lot of people now realise it was a massive mistake. I hope that we fix the problem for the next season. I think we need to go back and operate in the same way they do in Europe because I think it’s massive when you go to compete in the Europa League or Champions League.

“Champions League teams can create problems in a team like us and it’s so clear that I cannot be happy as a coach that in the last three or four weeks that certain clubs from Europe can unsettle your team. 

"For me it’s not common sense and we need to go back quick, hope they have a good conversation at the Premier League and go back quickly [to how it was].”

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The self-imposed early deadline was first seen in the Premier League last summer. It was intended to protect clubs from having their players unsettled by transfers after the start of the season, particularly those whose players were of interest to ‘top six’ clubs.

Yet it can be self-defeating as players at England’s top clubs can still be poached by the likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus or other giants, leaving no option to buy a replacement.

Even if Spurs hang on to Eriksen, Alderweireld and Vertonghen, transfer speculation that unsettles the players this month could be damaging to Spurs’ season as a whole. Dropped points in August could well be the difference between fourth and fifth come May.

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Only five clubs voted against implementing an early transfer deadline in the original 2017 vote. They were Manchester United, Manchester City, Crystal Palace, Swansea and Watford. Burnley abstained. That means that Spurs voted in favour of the change Pochettino now despises.

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