Poch relaxed about striker shortage

Image: SpursWeb

Mauricio Pochettino insists he is not frustrated with Tottenham’s lack of options up front and revealed it was Roberto Soldado’s decision to leave the club.

Spurs had no recognised strikers on the bench for Saturday’s 2-2 Barclays Premier League draw with Stoke, a shortage that proved costly given Pochettino admitted after the match Harry Kane had to be replaced due to fatigue.

Kane’s lack of fitness is particularly concerning for Pochettino, with Soldado having already left for Villarreal and Emmanuel Adebayor considered surplus to requirements by the Argentine.

Tottenham announced the signing of Lyon’s Clinton Njie on Saturday and Pochettino also has faith in Nacer Chadli as a central striker, but both players are more comfortable playing wide than down the middle.

It places added scrutiny on the decision to sell Soldado without reinforcements but Pochettino refused to criticise the timing of the Spaniard’s departure.

“It was a club decision (to sell Soldado). A club wanted the player and the player wanted to leave,” Pochettino said.

“This was his decision from the first day of pre-season.

“We knew he wanted to leave and we found the best solution for the club and for him.”

Tottenham are reportedly interested in signing West Brom’s Saido Berahino before the end of the transfer window but Pochettino is calm about the club’s pursuit of players.

“When will the club sign a striker? Maybe next week, or the next – we need one or two players more,” Pochettino said after the draw with the Potters.

“You start the season and the transfer window is still going on, the business happens in the middle.

“Maybe it is something to fix in the future but these are the rules for the Premier League. We are all on the same page.”

Njie was presented to the home supporters at White Hart Lane on Saturday, along with the club’s four other summer signings, but only Toby Alderweireld was picked in Pochettino’s starting line-up.

Only 22 years old, Njie may also need time to adapt to the Premier League but Pochettino did not rule out the possibility of the forward going straight into his first-team plans.

“If he deserves to play straight away, he will,” Pochettino said.

“He needs to adapt to our philosophy and our team, after, if he deserves to play, of course he will.”

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