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'Judge Tottenham's signings in two years' - Pochettino urges patience with new arrivals

19:35 GMT+3 25/10/2019
Mauricio Pochettino - cropped
The Spurs boss is keen to ease the burden of expectation on his big-money summer signings and takes a long-term view of their development

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says it will take up to two years to see the best of his summer signings.

Spurs spent close to £90 million ($115.5m) on Tanguy Ndombele and Ryan Sessegnon over the summer while on-loan Real Betis midfielder Giovani Lo Celso will cost around £55 million ($67m) if the deal is made permanent next summer.

Ndombele has featured most regularly out of the trio, making 10 appearances in all competitions, with injuries restricting Lo Celso and Sessegnon’s involvement to date.

The former Lyon midfielder was impressive in Tottenham’s 5-0 thrashing of Red Star Belgrade in the Champions League in midweek, though Pochettino is keen to play down talk of Ndombele reaching his best form.

Pochettino feels it will be at least 12 months before the new signings begin to reach their potential, with the Argentine citing Son Heung-min and Moussa Sissoko as examples of players who blossomed after a settling-in period.

“For me, when you sign a player, despite the amount you pay, with the profile of Tanguy Ndombele or Giovani Lo Celso or Ryan Sessegnon you need minimum one year and a half, or two years,” Pochettino told a news conference.

“Look at what happened with Son or Sissoko, they started to perform in year two, year three. Today the market is the market. You cannot judge the player because you paid some kind of amount. He [Ndombele] played two years in Lyon and moved to England where everything is new, but the quality is there. They need time to show their real quality.”

Tottenham head to Anfield on Sunday to take on Liverpool for the first time since their Champions League final defeat in June.

Nearly five months on, Pochettino admits he has just about managed to get the pain of the defeat in Madrid out of his system.

"The Champions League final is all or nothing and it was nothing," he said. "To be second for us is nothing.

"It means a lot of the club to reach final of Champions League but players and the staff felt empty after the game.

"With time you can say, 'OK we played in the final of the Champions League' but that will always be the deal.

"But we have spoken a lot now and we are back to full energy. We have recovered from that and it's the moment to build our confidence and trust and start to show our talent and potential."

Pochettino also hopes Wednesday’s win combined with a morale-boosting team meal will end speculation about possible unrest behind the scenes.

A run of just three wins in 12 games in all competitions to start the season had put Pochettino’s position under scrutiny and sparked rumours of a divide in the dressing room.

The players responded by inviting Pochettino and his coaching staff out for a team meal on Thursday.

Pochettino thinks the midweek meet-up could boost his players' confidence as they prepare for a defining period in the campaign.

"It was very good, and very kind of them to invite the coaching staff," he added.

"It was a little busy. We spent a few hours there and it is always nice to see people in a different environment.

"That doesn't mean we are going to go to Anfield and win 5-0 because we were nice all together. But it is going to help in the long-term."

Pochettino has a virtually fully fit squad to choose from this weekend, with captain Hugo Lloris his only confirmed absentee.

That could mean a debut for summer signing Sessegnon, who has been carrying a hamstring injury suffered on international duty during the close season.

"Maybe he will be available but it's always the same - when one is in, one is out," Pochettino said.

"If you plan for him to be on the bench you need to take someone off the bench. It's about waiting, being consistent and showing his quality and to wait for the opportunity that he will have during the season."